By TL Cornish, CNP
Do you find you've got food allergies that worsen in the spring, summer and/or fall?
Does it seem like your hay fever "gets worse" when you eat certain foods?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be struggling with cross-over allergic or intolerance reactions between fungus/yeast issues, food allergies and seasonal pollen. The connections between these challenges can represent some perplexing allergy relationships. An understanding of how these problems impact each other can empower us to find relief.
There are a number of food and lifestyle adjustments that we can make in order to strengthen the "terrain" of our bodies and thus raise our allergic threshold, (the level of exposure to an allergen required to cause an uncomfortable reaction.). To complement our efforts at strengthening our body terrain, we can utilize specific anti allergy supports. With an understanding of allergies and candida, a gentle candida reduction program combined with a careful process of self observation, food therapy, anti allergy supplements and homeopathy we can gain control over these symptoms and enjoy health indoors and out, even during allergy season.
As most of us know, what we eat can impact our recovery from the candida overgrowth. What is less understood is that some food choices can specifically trigger increased sensitivity to related airborne pollen allergens. There are foods that are actually related to some of the problem pollen plants. There are foods and beverages that create vulnerability to allergies in other ways. Demystifying how to best feed and care for ourselves during allergy season can prevent or minimize the intervention strategies required to cope with allergy symptoms.
Five Step Plan to Enjoy the Spring, Summer and Fall - Allergy Free.
- Candida Reduction ~ to reduce immune stress and inflammatory mycotoxin accumulation caused by the yeast; to clear the colon for better breathing; and to improve intestinal integrity for greater immune strength and digestive power.
- Attention to Food Therapy ~ to emphasize healthy, alkalizing and nutrient rich foods while minimizing foods and drinks (and medication) that amplify allergic propensity or sensitivity to specific pollen via cross-over reactions.
- Detoxify for immune optimization ~ to reduce the overall toxic load and resulting immune suppression to enable a healthful reaction to allergens.
- Use Supplements to strengthen tolerance specific to allergic response~ use herbs that bolster the immune system as well as nutrient supplements that counteract the histamine response and support immune resilience.
- Desensitize with homeopathy ~ to gently trigger the immune and respiratory systems to defend against allergenic irritants.
- Hydrate ~ to supply adequate hydration levels for the mobilization of oxygen carrying red blood cells and to optimize energy production and immune function.
1. The need for candida reduction
Candida intestinal damage increases susceptibility to food allergies. The imbalance in intestinal ecology caused by candida overgrowth also dramatically affects the immune system and the ability to digest foods well. Beneficial bacteria that supports our immune resilience and our digestion, normally present in a healthy digestive tract, is usually absent in cases of CRC.- Therefore, we are vulnerable already.
Also, the mycotoxins produced by yeast and fungus (the toxins released as the yeast metabolize carbohydrates from the food we eat) lead to our digestive and immune functions being suppressed by the candida, which can aggravate immune function further as well as the nervous system. In addition, our elimination suffers and it is not uncommon for constipation to result. This produces further toxicity as the wastes that need to leave the body remain behind, clogged in a sluggish colon.
If our colon is sluggish, our lung function can also be affected. In ancient Asian medicine (Ayurvedic and Chinese), a blocked colon is understood to impact lung function. One of the key approaches in Eastern medicine to resolving asthma includes cleansing the colon. The impact can be a heightened susceptibility for both food allergies and inhalant allergies (such as hay fever).
Reducing candida populations and cleansing the colon are key to increasing our resilience. Candida Cleanse Products from WholeApproach
2. Foods and Hay Fever
Eating foods you are allergic or intolerant to during allergy season can trigger or worsen allergies. Some foods are obviously unsuitable for people with candida overgrowth and these are discussed at length on the Whole Approach website. Individuals recovering from illness (yeast or otherwise) are encouraged emphasize fresh, whole, unprocessed foods that are high in digestible, low mucous-forming proteins in order to facilitate detoxification and a more alkaline, healthful body chemistry. For people struggling with hay fever allergies as well as candida, this is even more crucial because of the need for a healthy mucous membrane defense in the respiratory system.
It can also be very helpful to learn about plant relationships between tree pollen, grass pollen and certain foods that might trigger cross reactions. Some of them can be confusing because they may change seasonally; worsening in the spring (tree pollen) or the summer (grass pollen.)
Mucous Producing Foods
Eating mucous or acid producing foods like dairy (butter, cheese, yogurt, milk/cream products),soy and gluten (from grains like wheat, spelt, kamut) can cause problems. The same is true for excessive amounts of meat or protein (even nuts and seeds). All of these foods cause a thickening of mucous throughout the body, including the nose and lungs. For a high allergy threshold, it's important to have healthy, responsive mucous membranes in the nose and lungs that can be clear and healthy enough to identify any potential allergy "threats", and defend us appropriately without overreacting and feeding into an adverse histamine response.
Cross Reactions with Tree and Grass Pollen
Grasses and cereal grains are less than ideal foods during spring and summer (or any allergy exposure time) for a couple of reasons. Because cereal grass foods can be closely related to some of the summer grass and weed pollen, this is a particularly bad time to eat them. Just as with any type of allergen, overexposure to it can amplify allergic response. Avoiding grains in our foods can help us be stronger against the grass pollen in our air. There are also some food plants that are related to spring tree pollen. For example, people who are allergic to birch pollen can have cross-reactions to apples and other fruit
Oats, barley, rice, wild rice, millet, rye, spelt, wheat, kamut, corn (maize), and wild rice are grasses and cereal grains commonly eaten as foods. We may also be exposed to related airborne pollen in the summer. Eating the above plants or relatives can aggravate inhalant allergens while inhaling them can increase allergic response to consuming these foods. There are also a few other, more obscure cross reactions that have been clinically verified. This is where it all starts to seem a bit complex and nebulous. For example grass pollen allergic people may react to melon, cereals and tomatoes.
Salicylic Acid in Food
Salicylic type medications (aspirin, ibuprofen) or foods containing salicylic acid are commonly known to trigger asthmatic symptoms in sensitive individuals so if your hay fever tends to manifest as lower respiratory stress, you'd be wise to steer clear of the salicylic containing foods. Below are lists of these foods according to high or very high salicylic acid content.
High: alfalfa, broccoli, cucumber, fava beans, spinach, sweet potato, granny smith apple, pickles, avocado fresh, cherries, grapes red, mandarin (fresh), tangelo (fresh), pine nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachio nuts
Very High: champignon, green pepper, olive, mushrooms, tomato, radish, chicory, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, dates, guava, raisins, almonds, peanuts, canella, cumin, curry powder, dill dry, garam masalla, oregano, paprika (hot), rosemary, thyme, turmeric, mustard
The Nightshade Food Family
The nightshades are a family of fruits that are usually referred to as vegetables. They contain solanine, which is a toxin. In sensitive individuals, solanine can contribute to or cause various kinds of inflammatory response. This inflammatory response can interact with inhalant allergens to create a serious situation. Also, if you suffer with rhinitis or asthma, inflammatory substances should be treated with care and awareness. The most common nightshade plants include: tomato, sweet pepper, paprika, pimento, potato, Tabasco, brinjal, cayenne, capsicum, eggplant, ground cherry, banana pepper, bell pepper, chili pepper, green pepper, red pepper, tobacco.
If the impact of your diet on your seasonal allergies becomes a brain twister for you, this is a reminder to use a recording strategy like your food diary to plan and keep track of your food therapy approach. See the MemoryMinder Health Journal in the WholeApproach online store.
The above cautionary food lists may seem complex or expansive to you, especially if you are already eating a specific candida reduction food protocol. I think they are too! Keep in mind that very few people would need to abstain from all of these foods. I only list them all here so that you can pay special attention to this family of foods during seasonal allergy periods. Awareness helps you to eat these foods with informed self-observation.
In order to insure diversity and interest in the food therapy regimen, it is very important to carefully identify which foods are good for us and which are not. The process requires a period of commitment to careful record taking using a food or health diary. A health diary is where you can record all that you eat, all supplements or treatments or changes you make to health care regime, and how you feel; even the daily weather. This is usually done three times a day or however many times a day you eat. One hour after finishing your food is a good time to do this.
Vitalizing Whole Foods
The more vegetables we eat, the more alkaline and healthful our body chemistry will be. I recommend aiming for a vegetable intake that represents fifty percent of your total food intake (in weight or quantity - not in caloric value). If tolerated, try to eat much of your vegetable intake raw. Raw produce aids cleansing and immune strength. Insure you eat adequate protein, especially if you are vegetarian. Choose healthful proteins that are easy to digest and won't gum up the digestive tract. Sprouted quinoa (if tolerated), sprouted beans, gentle cooked eggs and quality meats are all recommended sources. The WholeApproach Food List Download
continued....Seasonal Allergies and Candida Part II coming soon
This article has been revised from an article previously written by Tarilee Cornish. Tarilee is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner with a special interest in pure, ethically-sourced foods, immune and digestive recovery and recovery from food allergies and candida overgrowth.
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