There's certainly an element of mystery to allergies. Why do some people get them while others never do? What causes the rate of allergies to double, triple, and even quadruple year after year (1, 2)? Why do certain countries have drastically higher rates than others?
We're far from having all the answers we need, but we know enough to say there is an allergies cure out there, and it begins with prevention. If you're already suffering, though, then there's hope for you too.
The Allergies Cure: Stopping The Spread
You may not like to think about it, but if you have allergies there's a good chance that your parents, particularly your mother, played a large part in you getting them. If your children do, you may unwittingly be a guilty party.
How a woman lives while pregnant can have a huge impact on her child's future health and susceptibility to allergen-related ills like asthma, autoimmune disorders, and allergies (atopic diseases).
Many allergies appear to take hold in the womb when a baby is being created from the raw materials in its mother. So you need to ask yourself just what you want your baby to be made of: Ho Hos and potato chips or bananas?
There's a stark divide between the natural plant-based foods that were the basis of man's diet for millennia and processed, fatty, meat-based diets most people in western countries eat today.
The farther we get from a plant-based diet and the more we rely on medicine to address our ills, the more health problems crop up.
One group of researchers recently theorized the westernization of the once plant-based Japanese diet is responsible for the incredible increase in atopic eczema that's appeared there in recent years, and set out to find out if they were right.
Their study found that indeed, it was the women who ate the most meat while pregnant who gave birth to children with the greatest risk of developing eczema. The researchers believe something in the meat affects the fetal immune response. Interestingly, fish, which is often touted as an antiinflammatory food and was the major meat component of the Japanese diet until the 1960s, was just as likely as other types of meat to cause eczema (3).
It's known that parents with allergies are more likely to give birth to children with allergies, but when mothers abstain from unhealthy animal foods such as meat (including fish), dairy, and other allergenic foods, they're less likely to pass their atopic diseases onto their babies (4).
The Allergies Cure: Feeding A Newborn
Once born, children are incredibly vulnerable to unhealthy food, and it's during our first years that many people develop allergies due to poor choices by their parents.
One key to prevention is feeding a child human breast milk instead of formula or cow's milk. The longer a mother breast feeds her child, the less likely it is to develop atopic diseases (5).
In fact, the longer a mother exclusively breast feeds without supplementation with other foods, the more likely a child is to remain allergy free (6).
Breast feeding for long periods may seem like a great burden in a world where women frequently return to work soon after giving birth, but it is in fact very normal in the grand scale of human evolution.
Surviving hunter gatherer tribes, renowned for their bodily prowess and health when left to their own devices, will often breast feed babies for 3-4 years, although solid foods gradually becomes a more prominent part of the diet.
It's also important that breast milk not be contaminated with toxins. The bodies of modern humans are pretty polluted, but mothers who don't eat meat have breast milk which is considerably lower in environmental contaminants than omnivores (7).
One problem is that antibodies in cow's milk can pass though a mother's system into her breast milk, and from there into her baby (8,9). That's not a gift you'd want to pass onto any child.
The Allergies Cure: Dietary Causes
People like to curse genetic fate for their maladies, but just like other diseases we can reverse, allergies generally only appear as a consequence of our actions. Eating unhealthy food and living unhealthy lives are the biggest factors.
You may be looking at the list above and thinking… "but that's everything I eat! What's left?"
Unfortunately, most foods people eat are unhealthy, which is why so many die early and suffer from preventable and reversible diseases.
Luckily, the same diet that can prevent those maladies also prevents allergies: A healthy raw food diet.
The Allergies Cure: Escaping Atopic Diseases
Ok, so your mother ate horribly, didn't breast feed you, and you've been eating unhealthy foods and taking antibiotics your whole life. Is there an allergies cure out there for you?
Yes. Embracing a diet of fruits and vegetables seems to have the amazing ability to make allergies a thing of the past. It will be a significant change for most people, but one that will lead to long-term improvements in their health.
Women eating plant-based dietshave a 30% lower chance of developing chemical allergies, a 24% less chance of developing asthma, 17% less chance of developing drug and bee-sting allergies, and 15% less chance of getting hay fever. Men eating plant-based appeared to have lower risk only of chemical and drug allergies (21).
Unfortunately, there aren't any studies attempting to document the large-scale health improvements brought about by low fat raw vegan diets, but anecdotally there's lots of confirmation.
Many of my coaching clients report their allergies just gradually fade away after the switch to a healthy diet.
In my interview with ultramarathon runner Grant Campbell, he talks about how his numerous health problems, including food and pet allergies, just disappeared after he started eating a low fat raw diet.
Ask around internet raw food forums and you'll hear plenty of the same: a raw diet allows your body to shed whatever allergy symptoms you've got.
In some situations, it's possible that diet change alone won't be enough and a medically-supervised long-term fast may be necessary, but this tends to be an exception rather than the rule.
The Allergies Cure: Healthy Living
A healthy lifestyle is also important if you want to avoid allergies.
Besides general health principles like getting sufficient sleep and sunshine, there are some specific problems you should be aware of.
First, keep your body weight low. Obese individuals have more allergy symptoms than those of healthy body weights. Luckily, when you're eating well losing weight and staying slim is easy (18).
Second, avoid medications in all but the most dire straights. Antibiotics are probably the biggest problem, as they're linked directly to the development of allergies (19).
Third, stop buying chemical-laden products and clean up your home. Bedroom air concentrations of volatile chemicals sourced from common chemical-based household cleaners, air fresheners, fabric softeners, laundry detergents, paints, pesticides, and other products contribute significantly to a child's chance of developing allergies, eczema, and other atopic diseases (20). They're probably not helping adults either.
The Allergies Cure: Following Up
Kick your salads up a notch with these delicious and healthy raw dressings and sauces recipes.
Learn to eat a healthy raw food diet.
Learn how this allergies cure will also rid you of other diseases.
Find out how an elimination diet can be used to find out what foods are healthy and harmful.
The Allergies Cure: Sources
The citations for this article can be found here.
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