Thursday, February 26, 2015

Little-known facts about common food allergens

When the subject of a food allergy is brought up, most people think that it’s something a person is born with, and that all the food allergy sufferer needs to do is stay away from the food they’re allergic to.

Well, it’s not quite as simple as that.

First of all, although someone’s tendency toward allergic reactions may have started in the womb, those reactions have had a lot of encouragement from our food supply and how it has changed over the years.

And avoiding the offending food or foods is not as easy as it sounds!

Let’s take a closer look at both of these issues, as well as ways you can help combat known or suspected food allergies.

The magnificent seven
Currently the seven most common allergenic foods in the US are:
  • Wheat 
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Meat 
  • Sugar
These also happen to be foods that are very abundant in our food supply.

Now, you might wonder why these foods seem to be causing more problems for more people than they ever did before.

Well, that’s because our food supply has transformed dramatically…and our bodies are seeing these molecular changes and differences in our foods as a dangerous substance and reacting with an allergic response.

Here are some ways our foods have changed over the years and why they are causing problems in increasing numbers:

1- Wheat
There are actually over 30,000 different varieties of wheat, but in the United States we only grow one for human consumption.

Over the last several decades, we’ve been hybridizing that one species of wheat to increase its gluten content…and now our wheat contains nearly double the gluten that it did just 50 years ago. (Gluten is a water-soluble mixture of sticky proteins and it’s what gives bread its light fluffy texture that we Americans love so much.)

Our health problems associated with wheat have risen because our bodies were not biologically designed to handle that much gluten…so our bodies are instead reacting as if the gluten is a foreign invader.

What makes this even more difficult is that gluten is in a lot more than just known wheat-based products like bread, pasta and crackers. It’s also used as a thickener and filler in LOADS of processed food products and restaurant meals.

2- Corn
There are also a number of varieties of corn, and the corn grown here in the US is vastly different from the native corn that is a staple grain in places like Mexico and South America.

Corn is another crop that’s been hybridized to death, and now add on to that the fact that it’s being genetically modified (i.e. GMO) and used in countless products without requiring GMO ingredients to be spelled out on the label.

GMO crops can create varieties of proteins that completely foreign to your body…and that can spell trouble because your body (especially your immune system) will be put on alert and likely react in some fashion down the road.

3- Soy
Soy has been used for centuries in Asian countries (especially China and more recently Japan) as a protein source, and these cultures have typically fermented it to make it more digestible.

Well, we’ve taken a wide left turn here in the US because it’s not always fermented so therefore it can cause digestive World War III down below.

Plus it too is being genetically modified. So time will tell what the Franken-proteins created by the GMO process will do to our immune systems and our health.

4- Eggs
Gone are the days when chickens were allowed to roam and graze freely from fresh green pastures.

Now they’re injected with hormones and antibiotics which make their way into YOUR body when you eat their eggs (and meat for that matter).

Plus chickens are subjected to horribly inhumane, filthy conditions—miles and miles of them are stacked on top of each other with their wings and beaks clipped and their claws pulled out so they won’t hurt each other. The wastes are abundant throughout and the chickens are stressed to the max.

And if you don’t think that has an effect on the quality and nutritional integrity of their eggs then there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

5- Dairy
The cows that supply our dairy products have been subjected to similar filthy, inhumane conditions as our chickens, and they too are injected with antibiotics and hormones which are becoming a part of us with every bite of conventional dairy products.

The main components of milk are lactalbumin, casein, lactose and cream. The lactalbumin in human milk is vastly different from cow’s milk, and both are different from goat’s milk.

That’s why babies may start having reactions to cow’s milk once they’re weaned, and other people who react to cow’s milk may find they can tolerate goat’s milk.

And like gluten, dairy products or derivatives thereof are used in countless processed foods, so avoiding dairy is not as easy as it seems.

6- Meat (especially beef and pork)
The drug injections and inhumane treatment of animals also carries through to the meat they produce for our consumption.

If you are eating conventionally produced meat, you are most assuredly getting a regular dose of antibiotics and hormones, as well as eating the muscles from an animal that is stressed, sickly and living in a filthy environment (and frequently eating the filth too).

And all those little hidden factors can secretly taunt your immune system and may cause it to eventually overreact.

7- Sugar
In addition to the obvious dangers of sugar (weight gain, insulin resistance, inflammation, cancer) sugar is murder on your friendly gut flora and hampers your immune functioning.

Just one teaspoon of sugar can depress your immune system functioning for up to 5 hours!

Our bodies have the capability to successfully cope with about 2 teaspoons of sugar a day.

And considering that the average can of soda alone contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar, it’s easy to see that many of us are assaulting our bodies and immune functioning day in and day out.

How to combat the common allergens
Hopefully you have a better understanding as to why food allergies are affecting increasing numbers of people.

And although so many of the dangers are out of your control, there is still a whole lot you can do to keep food allergies far away from you, or help minimize their dangerous effects.

Here are three smart strategies that can make a big difference in preventing food allergies or calming them if you’ve got them.

1) Go organic
Many people have noticed that when they eat organic meat, eggs and dairy, they don’t have the allergic reactions they had with conventionally produced products.

This makes sense because animals raised for organic products are not subjected to the same horrible conditions and are not injected with drugs.

Plus organic products by their very nature do not contain GMO ingredients, so you are naturally avoiding that food allergy concern as well.

I know organic items can be more expensive, but think about how expensive your medical bills will be if you get seriously sick.

2) Have a diet of real foods

It’s easy to avoid hidden allergens in processed foods when you stick to real foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy.

Plus it’s also crucial to have efficient digestion in order to absorb the vital nutrients from your foods and properly eliminate wastes to maintain a healthy environment for your intestinal flora (where 70% of your precious immune system resides).

I can help you achieve both of those goals (and love every bite of what you're eating) with the Great Taste No Pain system or if you’ve got known gluten issues, Great Taste No Gluten.

Both Great Taste No Pain and Great Taste No Gluten show you what foods to eat (and what foods to pair together) to help encourage smooth digestion and efficient nutrient absorption.

Plus they're loaded with delicious ideas featuring nourishing real foods that you'll absolutely LOVE--there are no bland or boring dishes in my recipe collections!

3) Supplement with a high quality probiotic
Research has shown that probiotic supplements can significantly reduce allergic reactions to foods!

One study was conducted at Seoul National University in South Korea and published in 2005 in the Federation of European Microbiological Societies' Immunology and Medical Microbiology journal.

The researchers tested two groups of mice that were allergic to egg white. Half of the mice were given the probiotic strains Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus casei every day for 5 weeks and the other half received none.

After the 5 weeks, all of the mice were given egg white. Those treated with the probiotics had significantly fewer allergic reactions, measured by how much histamine they produced.

Human trials have also been conducted that show similar results.

In one study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers from Finland studied 27 babies who were allergic to cow's milk. For one month, cow's milk was removed from their diets and 13 of them were given the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus. The other 14 were given no probiotics.

After one month, all of the babies were given cow's milk again. Those who had the L. rhamnosus showed significantly fewer reactions to the milk than the babies who received no probiotics.

Food allergies were one of the reasons we included potent strains of Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus casei in Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula.

Those and Super Shield's 10 other superstar strains will help counteract the effects of food allergies, as well as help to beef up your immune system and encourage more regular BMs too.

Food allergies are all around us and they are increasing…and much of that is out of our control.

But when you take the bull by the horns and become more discerning on what you are putting on your plate, you can help lessen your chances of immune reactions to food and instead nourish your body with delicious foods the way it was meant to be!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

PS: Always be sure to let your doctor or healthcare provider know what supplements you are taking.


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  5. Fascinating insights into the evolving landscape of food allergies and their roots in changes to our food supply.
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