Friday, December 13, 2013

I have Fruit and Vegetable Allergies, so a Plant-Based Diet Won't Work...Right?

I had someone ask me about allergies. Severe allergies. Oh, man, do I have good news for you! This is going to be upbeat, uplifting, and give you a whole heck of a lot of hope. I want to introduce you to a man. His name is Matt. Matt was interviewed by Lindsay Nixon (THE Happy Herbivore) back in 2010. You can read the full interview here. But what I really want to show you is a portion of the interview:

Tell us about these allergies and your major uphill battle.
Throughout my life I formed severe allergies and sensitivities to fruits and vegetables [emphasis added]. At first I would simply stop liking a fruit or vegetable but soon after, eating any small amount would cause my mouth and throat to itch for hours. Eventually the allergies grew bad enough that I would go to the ER and get epinephrine injections.
You were allergic to fruits and vegetables?! What did you eat?
[When I transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle] My diet consisted of lots of grains, tofu, spices, faux meats, cereals and rice. I couldn't eat beans at first because we weren't sure which ones I was allergic too.
You were eventually able to "cure" your allergies. Tell us about that.
A natural doctor diagnosed me with "leaky gut syndrome." A silly name, but a very common illness affecting millions of people. The basic premise is that due to a highly stressful diet (animal products are stressful on the body) our intestines form small perforations that let undigested food find a way into our bloodstream. Our immune system attacks that food like an infection and forms and allergy to it. By cleaning up my diet and going on some intense probiotics (they help restore the intentional lining) my body began to heal.
Are you able to eat (and enjoy) fruits and vegetables now?
A few months ago I started carefully trying fruits and vegetables. I found that not only were my allergies gone but I actually enjoyed the taste of fruits and vegetables. I'd catch myself daydreaming about kale and spinach.
I can't begin to explain the joy of being able to eat a strawberry, salsa or pasta sauce after all these years. If you or someone you know used to enjoy raw fruits or vegetables, and now doesn't, please look into leaky gut syndrome.
Have you experienced any other benefits, beyond the reversal of allergies?
I went off my heartburn medication and all prescription medication. My asthma also greatly improved and I no longer need a sleep apnea machine to get a good night's rest. (We'll talk about Matt's weight loss, physical changes and new energy levels next week!)

Does that not make you feel fabulous?! And "Leaky-Gut Syndrome," as he said, is actually more common than we think. If you find yourself with multiple...and I mean multiple allergies, take a look at this site. This has 9 signs that will help you determine if what you really suffer from is Leaky-Gut. If you indeed suffer from leaky-gut, get on a probiotic NOW, remove gluten from your diet for a couple months, and completely stop eating meat and dairy.

I actually self-diagnosed myself with a Candida overgrowth about 2 - 2.5 years ago. I was moody, I was (let's face it) gassy, I was tired, I craved sugar, I had severe seasonal allergies, and about a dozen other symptoms. So...I know how horrible a digestive disorder can be.

Wanna know what causes these issues? Meat and dairy. That, and a horribly low amount of fiber. You see, the meat and dairy have to travel through our long long intestines. Inside, they begin to rot, bad bacteria gets out of control, and ... if it gets bad enough, it can start to eat small holes in your intestines allowing food into the other parts of your body (thus...leaky gut). And Matt's story above tells the rest.

Dairy is an amazing allergy aggravator. Not only that, but it's a great inflammatory. So, people with seasonal allergies will usually see their allergies spike even more when they have dairy products.

I want you to meet another couple. Natala writes that she almost killed her husband once when they were dating because she made him dinner. He was allergic to:

  • ALL vegetables- except very well cooked spinach.
  • ALL nuts
  • All fruit – except very well cooked pears/peaches
  • Soy
  • Many beans

  • This sounds a lot like my "querier."

    In her article above, Natala focuses mainly on Gluten Sensitivities, but at the beginning, she makes a pretty awesome statement:

    *I’d like to add that because of his plant-strong diet, my husband reversed his food sensitivities to fruits and vegetables, so he can now eat things like tomato with out going to the ER (which happened, twice).

    Now, I'm going to add the same disclaimer that she did. There are some allergies that may not clear up. Pine nuts, soy, gluten, and others (my sensitivity to gluten was minor enough that I don't really have issue with it anymore). But, their negative affects can be drastically lessened. Keyword is CAN.

    However, as you can see from both cases, these people had EXTREME allergies. Allergies against fruits and veggies that would put them in the hospital. But after a while of eating lots of whole grains (quinoa, millet, brown rice, etc.), cereals, legumes (not just pinto beans, but black eyed peas, lentils, white beans, garbanzo beans, etc.) which are a great source of protein, fruits and veggies which DON'T cause problems, you WILL see yourself being able to add in veggies and fruits that once would have sent you to the hospital.

    If anyone else would like recipes or have other questions related to extreme allergies, please let me know. I'd be happy to help!

    1 comment:

    1. Check out this video by Michael Klaper, MD. He has done a lot with leaky gut syndrome
      Curing Leaky Gut Syndrome