I’ve been dealing with “excuses” for quite a long time. It is easy to see an excuse for NOT doing something good, healthy or nutritionally sound coming a mile away. In fact, I have a little jingle when I see it coming….”don’t tell me your excuse, it is much more fun to guess”.
Simplistically speaking, allergies are the body’s reaction to certain things. It is an immunological response! We have allergies to pollen, dust, animal dander, trees, grass, insect stings, spider bites and even certain foods.
The number of people with true food allergies in the United States is a staggering 15 million! That sounds like a lot…..when in reality, it is about 4% or LESS than 1 in every 21 people you meet. Think of your fitness or college class and try and relate that number to the attendees.
For those who suffer true food allergies, the medical condition is REAL, with the most common offenders being milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts (which are not a nut….but I’ll save that for later), wheat, soy, fish and shellfish. There are even some odd allergies to things like sesame, corn, meat and a few fruits. These reactions are more commonly experienced very close to consumption and are repeatable. Their symptoms could be fatal.
More interestingly, the WHY one develops an allergy to food is largely unknown although there is strong a strong correlation to GUT HEALTH. Debates on whether placental issues, formula feeding or giving an infant foods too soon and too much are ongoing but lean, however, gut health in general is a MAJOR culprit. As infants, our guts are almost iron-proof with healthy colonies of beneficial bacteria ready to accept those things we eat as normal. Changes in these colonies through unnecessary through the mechanisms listed above or the use of antibiotics (using them for VIRUS related illness such as coughs or colds or flu or sinus infections or viral ear infections….the list goes on) could play a significant role in gut health changes.
RARE, however, is an allergy to one of the top superfoods….KALE.
More likely, the reaction one endures to such a powerhouse of nutrients, like KALE, is related to a detoxification process, or more commonly termed “cleansing”. The detox process is working to rid your body of the harmful and toxic chemicals you may be use to consuming in your “normal diet” and lifestyle. Chemical laden foods, processed flour products and sugars are common culprits.
The sad reality, however, is people will actually GIVE UP eating something beneficial because their body initially used it to help clean out the toxic crap….and then label the reaction a self-diagnosed food allergy.
Studies using double blind challenges to test food allergies reveal there is a GROSS overstatement by individuals that they, or their children, have a food allergy which validates my sarcasm…donuts are more tolerated by the mind.
True allergies often impact the throat, tongue, breathing process and even skin. There can be vomiting and worse, DEATH. Again, it is an immunological response to a food.
There is often a confusion between an allergy and food intolerance, where the body reacts negatively to certain foods like milk or glutens through bloat, diarrhea and headaches, but these are not allergies, per se. Food intolerance is simply the body’s inability to breakdown or digest certain foods or components of food. Just ask anyone who has a family member diagnosed with “lactose intolerance”…….
If you are looking to get the most bang for your nutritional buck, then superfoods such as KALE and SPINACH should be at the top of your list barring any real medical conditions you may have such as a compromised immune system. Individuals with Thyroid problems may have a sensitivity to cruciferous veggies (KALE, broccoli, cabbage…etc) due to the “goltrogens” found in these foods. Again, that explanation is for a future read. However, a true allergic reaction to foods is most often with “reproducible” response to their consumption.
If you believe you have an allergy to a specific food, it may be in your best interest to consult with your family physician and get tested in order to avoid potentially rare, but fatal results. Otherwise, your mild stomach cramps and softer than normal stools may simply be your body telling you “THANK YOU for not eating junk this week but thinking of my needs so that I can face the vitality end of the wellness spectrum”!
For the vast majority, it is likely you have a coincidental bout of the shits caused by something offensive (virus, too much tequila or excessive protein) 3-7 days earlier and now you are looking for another excuse to not change patterns of behavior.
It’s never too late for a fresh start!