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Childhood Allergies – Part 11 – Now What?

Childhood AllergiesThis is the last in a series of posts answering the question: “Why has there been such an astronomical rise in childhood allergies?”

If you’ve followed this series, you now know some of the reasons for the rise in childhood allergies. How can you use this knowledge? There’s a lot to digest in this post, and I don’t want anyone to think that they have to change all at once. See what resonates with you and consider making a few changes. Over time, you can make further adjustments.

Here are some things you can do:

The Pre-1960 Rule

You may have heard this one stated differently, as in the “Don’t eat anything your grandmother didn’t eat.” The problem with that is grandmothers are getting younger all the time. My grandmother passed away in 1967. Following her way of eating is probably a good idea. She owned a farm, raised her own chickens, baked everything from scratch, and even canned some of the best green beans I have ever tasted! She probably never talked about organic farming, but I’m pretty sure that’s the only kind of farming she did!

On the other hand, I’m technically old enough to be a grandmother (although I’m not). Many in my generation grew up eating fast food and processed foods. We’re the group that ushered in what used to be called TV dinners. They were the precursors of the frozen, microwave-ready meals you can buy today.

SO, here’s my new rule: Eat like they did before 1960! No, you don’t have to grow your own food. Just get closer to real foods and less of the foods with ingredients you don’t recognize.

Verified Non-GMO

Avoid GMOs

The Non-GMO Project monitors products and has a Verified Non-GMO Seal. Buying foods with that seal will ensure you are buying non-GMO foods.

USDA Organic
Another way to ensure you are buying non-GMO foods is to buy organic. Foods that are certified organic must be non-GMO.

Consider organic, at least, for those foods most at risk of being GMO. See the Non-GMO Project’s List.

Avoid Processed Foods

There are so many advantages to doing this one thing. Sadly, we’ve grown quite accustomed to our processed, convenient foods. But their elimination from your diet will go a long way to being healthier and avoiding allergens. Here’s just a few reasons to avoid them:

  • GMOs are in an estimated 60-70% (some reports even say 80%!) of all processed foods.
  • Their ingredients include hidden allergens described with names you don’t recognize.
  • They are often sources of excess calories, fats, and sugars.
  • Many processed foods have MSG in them.
  • They contain various food dyes that can cause allergic reactions.
  • Some of the additives are made from petroleum products.

Increase Vitamin D

More and more doctors are testing for vitamin D levels in blood and are recommending Vitamin D-3 supplements. As far as sun exposure, it’s another example of everything in moderation. We tend to go to extremes one way or the other. Estimates suggest that 15-30 minutes in the sun will increase your Vitamin D levels. Alternatively, you can take supplemental Vitamin D; Vitamin D-3 is recommended.

Detox your house

This can go a long way to improving allergies. Seek out more eco-friendly products. Eliminate all those air fresheners – whether they are sprays, candles or plugins. There are safer ways to freshen the air. Ways that don’t decrease indoor air quality.

Don’t be too clean

I’m not advocating no bathing. I am advocating that we lose our germophobia! Rely less on those hand sanitizers. They contain alcohol and most also contain perfume. Take time to wash your hands instead. And remember: Hand sanitizers will NOT remove food allergens from your hands!

This is the last in a series of blog posts answering the question: “Why has there been such an astronomical rise in childhood allergies?” I would love to know your thoughts on this. And am also available to answer your questions.

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