January 23, 2017

4 Reasons Why Allergies Are Attacking Our Health

by Sarah Stanley

No doubt you know someone with allergies. It seems like everywhere we turn another child is suffering from a peanut, soy or dairy allergy, and one more person has suddenly become gluten intolerant. According to Food Allergy, 15 million Americans suffer from allergies; 1 in 13 children (under the age of 18) suffers from allergies.

So, what is going on? Could there be a connection between our body, the food we eat and the products we use on a daily basis? You bet! Let’s discover the 4 reasons why allergies, and food allergies in general, are increasing in number and most importantly, what we can do about them.

1) Antibiotics

4 reasons why allergies are attacking our healthAntibiotics are being prescribed at alarming rate; it’s no wonder our poor bodies are reacting the way they are. Did you know that 80% of our immune system lives in our gut? Antibiotics not only kill the bad germs in our gut, but they kill the precious good germs, too. They weaken the immune system and make it harder for our bodies to fight infection, illness and yes, even all types of allergies.

One researcher, Gary Huffnagle, has linked the rise of antibiotics to the increase in asthma. While asthma can be linked to a number of causes (such as nutrition and dust), there is a correlation between diagnosing asthma and over-prescribing antibiotics. So as antibiotic use has increased, so has asthma. In fact, asthma has increased 160% in the last 20 years![1]

Another thing to remember is that prescription antibiotics only kill bacteria, but do not work for viral health ailments, including the common cold, flu and even ear infections.

What’s even more alarming is that over-prescribing antibiotic drugs is causing an epidemic of antibiotic resistance. A report from the CDC stated,

“Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.” This is indeed a cause for great concern.

Additionally, the CDC also states that antibiotics are a concern and parents should work with doctors to treat their children safely and effectively.  Antibiotics do affect our health and could be one of the reasons why we are seeing a massive rise in allergies.

2) Anti-bacterial Products

You most likely used antibacterial products today. You probably think using antibacterial soap is a good thing killing all those germs, right? Well, not exactly. One of the main ingredients in antibacterial products is triclosan. It’s also in many commercial beauty & skin care products.

Triclosan blocks the essential fatty acids in the bacterial cells, effectively killing the germs. Unfortunately, the bacteria that manage to survive the triclosan attack actually mutate into a new strain to resist this chemical. What’s really interesting is what happens next.

How Stuff Works describes it like this:

Some antibacterial agents go after the same physiology of bacteria that prescription antibiotics do. This means that if a particular strain of bacteria develops a resistance to an antibacterial agent in a household cleaner, it will also be resistant to similar attacks from prescription antibiotics. Microbiologists call this cross-resistance.”

Remember, germs aren’t all bad! We need them to survive. However, the immune system needs to keep them in their proper place.  It’s how our body fights fevers, infections and illnesses.

What is the connection between anti-bacterial products and allergies? Glad you asked! From the time a baby is born, they are born into an environmental flora of all sorts of germs. These bacteria, yeasts, and viruses can be found everywhere from dirt to countertops; most of these microbes are harmless.

It’s also important to note that this flora helps us digest food and fight off bad bacteria. Our body has two specific cells (T-H1 and T-H2), which prevent us from dying if someone should sneeze near us or if we cut our toe. To work properly, T-H1 and T-H2 must come in contact with microbes and allergens.  Your immune system coming in contact with the germs is how your body builds its defense so you don’t die when someone coughs on you!

But sadly, our homes are filled with many antibacterial cleaners and soaps, giving our young children no defense to fight off disease and causing our precious little ones to be diagnosed with allergies. Sanitizing our homes, hands and world is not such a good thing and our health is taking a direct hit. Allergies are a direct result.

3) GMOs

It’s not just prescription antibiotics that are causing many food allergies; it’s also GMO antibiotics found in meat and dairy. With genetic modification (basically telling God that what He created is not good) happening all around us, our health is declining and allergies are increasing.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms that have been changed using genetic engineering techniques. Some plants like corn have even been modified to produce their own pesticide. Because these have never been in the human food supply before, diseases and health problems are skyrocketing. From infertility to sterility, to allergies to cancer, the effects of GMOs are dangerous and very scary not just for humans but for the health of our earth, soil, plants, animals, air, and water.[2]

Organic Consumers conducted a few tests on allergies and GMOs and this is what they found:

Soy allergies soared by 50% in the UK, right after GM soy was introduced; GM soy also contains an unexpected allergen-type protein not found in natural soy; the level of one known soy allergen is as much as 7-times higher in cooked GM soy compared to non-GM soy.”

Bt toxin is the primary GMO antibiotic and used in corn, soy and potatoes. It is now known that the Bt toxin gene can insert itself from your food into your own gut bacteria, making you a Bt toxin factory.  While the company that makes this has assured us that it isn’t toxic to humans, recent studies indicate that Bt toxin can affect our red blood cells and immune system.[3]

The hormones found in milk may also play a role with allergies.  Robyn O’Brien, founder of Allergy Kids, writes:

 “[rBST & rBGH] seems to be hazardous to the cows. The package itself warns of such bovine problems as ‘increases in cystic ovaries and disorders of the uterus’, ‘decreases in gestation length and birth weight of calves,’ and ‘increased risk of clinical mastitis.’ Mastitis is a painful type of udder infection that causes cows to pump out bacteria and pus along with milk, requiring treatment with antibiotics and other meds that can end up in the milk.”

And how much of this “milk” (if you can call it that!) is poured into glasses without much thought? More than I care to imagine. So not only are antibiotics being over prescribed, but we’re drinking them on top of it. No wonder why we’re in an allergy crisis!

Our bodies were not created to digest foreign genes, which ultimately alter our DNA!

4) Processed Food-like Products

How else is our food supply attacking our health? By hiding in processed, food-like products.

Now that you know a little bit about GMOs, you understand just how important it is to eat real (organic food). Processed products (generally known as Big Food) are filled with GMO ingredients: corn, HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup), soy, MSG, and countless other additives that don’t have to be labeled as GMO ingredients.

Which brings us to ask this question, so what can we do to prevent allergies? Or if you currently have them, what can you do to help your body fight them?

Here Are 7 Anti-Allergy Tips to Remember

7 Anti-Allergy Tips

1) Eat organic food.

If you consume meats and dairy, choose organic. The best way to avoid GMOs is to always buy organic foods (and also look for the non-GMO label). Some raw milk drinkers have lower ranges of allergies and asthma.

2) Use regular soap (not anti-bacterial).

Also, avoid foaming soaps (even some natural ones contain toxic ingredients). Dr. Bronner’s is a good choice.

3) Avoid any products that say “antibacterial” or “sanitizer” on them.

This includes all forms of hand sanitizer (gels, liquids, sprays, etc.). Again, Dr. Bronner’s is a wonderful option.

4) Switch to eco-friendly household cleaners.

A few I recommend are Eco-Me, Seventh Generation, Vermont Soap Company and Dr. Bronner’s has so many wonderful uses!

5) Commit to using only natural beauty & skin care products.

Nourish Organics, SKINourishment, and Balanced Guru are some of my personal favorites.

 6) Take probiotics.

It’s no surprise our immune system is under attack, so taking daily probiotics will help build a strong immune system! You can start the day with a morning elixir and eat plenty of pre & probiotic real foods such as kefir, raw sauerkraut (refrigerated, not shelf stable), kombucha, spirulina or chlorella, blue-green algae, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (important note: do not use commercial ACV).

Bananas, garlic, chicory root, dandelion greens (all in raw, organic form) are fantastic sources of prebiotics. Garden of Life has a complete line of digestive enzymes and probiotics.

 7) Eat what God made.

Bottom line to take away, if God didn’t make it, then don’t eat it! This means avoiding not just food and drink, but also skin care and household cleaners. Be extra diligent about reading labels and if an ingredient doesn’t make sense, avoid it.

Allergies of all kinds don’t have to be a part our life and especially future generations to come. This is why prevention is so important! By being a little more relaxed about “germs” and more careful about we eat, drink, clean our homes with, and slather on our skin, allergies can be prevented.

The 7 tips above are a great place to get started in living a lifestyle of prevention. By being proactive with preventative measures, allergies might not plague you unnecessarily anymore! And future generations will thank you for preventing allergies for them.

 

 

SarahStanleySarah Stanley is a wellness educator, endurance athlete, speaker, author, and founder of #wellnesschat & {wellprint}. Passionate about healthy living Sarah lives what she speaks about, practicing a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle that fuels her ultrarunning adventures. Her goal is to empower others to be knowledgeable about what they put in & on their body so they can live healthy, disease-free and happy life. She’s been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Ladies’ Home Journal and Washingtonian. Find Sarah on Twitter (@SarahStanley)G+ (+SarahStanley) and visit SarahStanleyInspired.com to start your wellness journey today

 

 


[1] http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn5047-antibiotics-linked-to-huge-rise-in-allergies.html#.U0SBG61dXjN
[2] http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_11361.cfm
[3] http://www.gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/JHTD-1-104.pdf

 

Healing Foods & Liquids to Fight the Flu

Natural Food Options You Can Use To Ward Off Sickness

flu season immunity by flickr andrewrennieStaying healthy during countless doctor visits or hiding the cold and flu season from the rest of the world, there can be a daunting task,  even for the healthiest of people. Throw in chronic disease, sedentary lifestyles, a lack of essential nutrients, and a compromised immune system; you could be looking at a long winter. However, you do not have to resort to flu shots, you can use to ward off sickness.

Chicken Soup

If you have a grandmother, mother or concerned parent, you will know when you say, “I feel sick,” they serve up chicken soup for you. Interestingly enough, scientific evidence today supports what they used to say. The steam produced by hot chicken soup helps clear clogged airways, and the nourishing broth will give you more energy. An amino acid released from chicken during cooking chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems.

Spices that are often added to chicken soup, such as garlic and pepper (all ancient treatments for respiratory diseases), work the same way as modern cough medicines, thinning mucus to make breathing easier.

Hot and spicy food

Some people swear by hot and spicy foods such as garlic, onions, mustard, horseradish, chilies or spicy sauces to help ease congestion. This is because food spicy enough to make your eyes watery will have the same effect on your nose and promote drainage. If you feel like eating, a hot and spicy choice will help your body fight your cold.

Garlic

This fragrant bulb contains a flavoring agent called alliin, which acts as a decongestant and a broad-spectrum antibiotic with powerful antibacterial properties. Garlic is also believed to act as an antioxidant and destroy free radicals, the active oxygen molecules that damage cells.

Fluids

Stay hydrated with plenty of liquids. Hot beverages work better for some people, so consider chamomile or peppermint herbal tea, or sip on hot water with a slice of lemon. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help your body recover faster and fight off the virus better.

Foods High in Vitamin C

Foods high in vitamin C such as citrus fruits to increase your vitamin C intake. Drink orange juice for breakfast, snack on half a grapefruit, or add tanger-ine slices to a lunchtime salad. Potatoes, green peppers, strawberries and pineapple can also be added to your daily cold-fighting food arsenal.

Ginger

Many people find fresh ginger root helps treat the coughing and fever that often accompany colds and flu. For many people, ginger (such as in ginger tea) works to boost the immune system during the cold and flu season. Ginger tea is safe, easy to prepare, and good to have on hand all winter long and can help ease throat pain and upset stomach.

What to Avoid

Avoid milk and other dairy products. At least one study has shown that a compound in milk triggers the release of histamine, a chemical that contributes to runny nose and nasal congestion, which can make chest, sinus, and nasal congestion worse.

Chicken soup for the flu by flickr satakieliGrandma’s Flu Busting Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts (skin on and bone in, about 2 pounds)
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in half
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups baby carrots, divided
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds red or purple potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

1. Put chicken, celery, 2 garlic cloves, 1 cup carrots, the oregano sprig, and half the onion into a large pot. Fill pot with cold water 2 inches above ingredients; put over high heat. When water boils, cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer 1 hour.

2. Set aside chicken to cool and discard all vegetables and herbs. Strain broth into a large bowl, skim fat from top and set aside.

3. Put oil, jalapeno, chopped oregano, 2 remaining garlic cloves (minced) and remaining half onion (chopped) into a large pot. Cook at medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to high; add reserved broth, potatoes and remaining carrots. When broth boils, reduce heat to medium. Cook until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Remove skin and bones from chicken. Shred meat into bite size pieces. Add chicken, tomatoes, salt and pepper to soup. Cook until warm or hot (if you prefer).

Don’t want to make your own? Here are the top canned performers in order of effectiveness:

  1. Knorr’s Chicken Flavor Chicken Noodle
  2. Campbell’s Home Cookin’ Chicken Vegetable
  3. Campbell’s Healthy Request Chicken Noodle
  4. Lipton Cup O Soup, Chicken Noodle
  5. Progresso Chicken Noodle
  6. Health Valley 100% Natural Chicken Broth

Tea for flu by Grandma Flickr ~jjjohn~Grandma’s Teas for the Cold and Flu

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • Head of garlic
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 sprigs baby dill
  • 1 bag black tea
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Honey

Preparation:

  1. Boil the water, and lower to a simmer.
  2. Peel and crush the garlic & ginger root, and add to water.
  3. Add cayenne, baby dill, tea and lemon juice, and turn off flame.
  4. Allow to steep for 5 minutes and then take out all the leaf particles floating in the tea.

Basically any tea will work well, just make sure that you use heat, spice, and citrus.

The flu season has been around for as long as you and I can remember. Traditional methods of healing treatment have included fruit juices and water by the quarts, comfort foods, hot blankets, hot baths, cold compresses for headaches, additional fiber and other colon-cleansing remedies.

Stock up on these items and you’ll build flu immunity:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Chicken Soup
  • Hot Herbal Teas
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Garlic and Ginger
  • Hand Soap and Sanitizer

Furthermore, stay clear from germs but stay far from fear. The scare of a flu pandemic helps further drug sales – not peace of mind. To quote Nordine Zoureg, former Mr. Universe, “… I understood that no matter how bad your day or life may be unfolding, the illusion of your perception can be eradicated by a simple stare into the eyes of a loved one, a person or a pet or even your own self.” Remember what counts in life and you’ll not only keep yourself healthy, but you’ll feel better, too.

 

Grandma's Cure Corner

Grandma Barton is mother to Joe Barton (founder of Barton Publishing), grandmother to 6 grandkids and 28 step-grandkids, and over 3000 Home Cures That Work members. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor with the help of Dr. Saunders and natural remedies. Grandma loves finding cures within the home to treat all sorts of ailments. With tips she’s learned on the farm and along the way, Grandma Barton brings a time-tested and trusted voice when it comes to home remedies. She really is an inspiration to us all

 

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