Food Allergies Have Tripled In 10 Years: Is the Western Diet The Cause?

food allergies

Food allergies cases have tripled in the past 10 years and this is traced to the Western diet. This is according to a new study published in The Daily Mail.

Researchers from the non-profit organization Fair Health carried out an analysis of private health insurance claims made from 2007 to 2016. Their study found out that persons who are 18 years old and above constituted over a third of allergy insurance claims.

The researchers found there was an overall 377% spike in allergies reported in the past 10 years. Hence, one-third of those food allergies were caused by other specific foods – a category wherein foods were unknown. Then again, the foods that primarily caused severe allergic reactions, known as anaphylaxis, were tree nuts, peanuts, and seeds. The highest increase in allergic reactions was from tree nuts – 603% – while peanuts recorded 445%.

They also discovered that the allergic reactions were more common among young boys than young girls. However, when they grew to adulthood, the women developed more food allergies than the men.

The study’s researchers concluded that changes to the contents of the food or the Western diet which is comprised of over-refined sugars, the proliferation of red meat, preservatives, and the calories existing in junk food may be the contributing factors to the increase in food allergies. The surge in allergies was attributed by the researchers to genetics, the environment, and changes in food manufacturing.

They linked this surge to the potential dramatic rise in systemic, severe, and life-threatening food allergic reactions both in adults and children across the country. They did also observe that the fastest increase in food allergies occurred in urban areas than in the rural ones. Moreover, insurance claims related to food allergy diagnoses went up by 110% in rural communities compared to 70% in urban areas.

As incomes go up, people choose more calories and meat to go with their diet, said the study.

How to combat food allergies

The symptoms of food allergies may range from swelling or itching around the mouth, diarrhea, vomiting, hives or eczema, abdominal cramps and pain, a drop in blood pressure, or tightening of the throat and breathing difficulties. Sometimes, it can be severe that you need to seek a doctor for it. Yet, there are instances when you can treat the symptoms at home.

Here are some natural remedies for treating food allergies:

  • Limes

Limes’ citrus juice mixed with honey and water can detoxify the body. This is a great remedy to prevent confusion in the body’s immune system and prevent problems with protein digestion.

  • Bananas

Bananas are very much helpful in mitigating the effects of allergic reactions such as skin rashes and stomach discomfort.

  • Castor oil

Castor oil is known for coating the stomach to reduce or resist the severe effects of an allergic reaction to different foods.

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help the body restore the natural balance of the body. As well as maintain its metabolic functions and immune system responses.

  • Turmeric

Turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin that acts also as a natural antihistamine. Not only does it reduce the release of histamines in your body but it also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and analgesic properties. These are helpful in reducing and treating allergies and the symptoms that come with it.

I hope these remedies can be of help to you when you are caught in an unexpected allergic reaction. If you have further tips to share with regarding the remedies for allergic reactions, share in the comments section below!

Image by US Department of Agriculture / CC BY 2.0