Everyday I hear more and more people talking about food allergies and sensitivities. It is so common that nearly everyone has a friend, aunt, sister or brother who can't eat certain things without getting ill.
It seems this is a new epidemic. Twenty years ago rarely did we hear about gluten allergies, now its common place. In her book Cure Your Child With Food
, Kelly Dorfman touches on a lot of these points, with theories supported by medical experts as to why these allergies and sensitivities are happening and how we can take control of our bodies through the foods we eat. She also touches on some interesting topics when it comes to picky eaters and children with various medical issues, often stating that a simple change in diet can work a small miracle, making a picky eater with bad sleep patterns a much happier child. The book is filled with case studies and is a very interesting read, which is not only beneficial to parents but anyone who has suffered with a food sensitivity or would just like to learn more about nutrition. Here is a list of some of the issues she talks about and the foods she thinks are to blame: 1. Gastrointestinal distress - intolerance of gluten 2. Chronic ear infections - mucus build up due to intolerance of casein (dairy products) 3. Failure to grow, lack of interest in eating - zinc deficiency 4. Constipation - intolerance of casein ( dairy) 5. Chicken-skin Rash - essential fatty acids deficiency 6. Reflux - intolerance of casein ( dairy) 7. Inexplicable hives - Allergic reaction to genetically modified corn and soy, or the pesticides used on strawberries and other fruits with high pesticide residues These issues, which are often found in children, are seen in adults as well. Instead of reaching for medication or a topical cream she suggests to remove the suspicious food from your diet for a month and to keep a food diary which also includes how you feel physically throughout the day.
One point which really intrigued me was the discussion of the rise of wheat/gluten intolerance. I have a gluten sensitivity myself, and it took nearly eight years before we figured out what the problem was. Kelly believes that the new farming practice of "Dry Harvesting" may be to blame. About three days before the crops are ready to be harvested they are sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate which kills the plant, making it easier to gather, that doesn't sound very healthy to me. Furthermore, one researcher found residues from this spray in every sample of wheat he tested, obviously if we are eating it then its affecting us as well. Symptoms of contact with this spray are coincidentally very similar to symptoms of gluten intolerance ; headaches, moodiness, stomach problems... "If the researchers are correct (and unfortunately, I think they are) this certainly explains why they cannot find an accurate test to predict gluten sensitivity that is not celiac disease. It also explains the sudden exposure of gluten sensitivity over the last few years and why people consistently tell me they can go to France or Italy and eat bread but cannot eat it here." - Kelly Dorfman
I think it is scary that we buy foods which we think are good for us, but they are so full of chemicals and pesticides they are harming us instead. Saying that, there are simple steps we can take to make healthier choices. It's very important to take a multivitamin every day for optimal health, and to try to eat more whole versus processed foods. Whenever possible buy local, this goes for eggs, meats, fruits and veggies. There are often less trace chemicals and everything is fresher, but this doesn't mean that you can skip washing those fruits and veggies!
Here's an easy DIY fruit and veggie wash : 3 parts water 1 part vinegar Combine in a spray bottle. Spray fruits and veggies ( avoid mushrooms because of their porous nature) let sit 2-3 minutes then rinse. It's that simple! Hopefully you find this information useful, I know I did! XO Jasmin