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Food Allergies and Gut Health: Way To Reduce Food Allergies

As a parent, you want your kids to eat well and stay healthy. From a FDA report, food allergies affect millions of Americans every year. So, how can we as parents and carers understand if there is a food allergy, and is there a way to minimize food allergies?

Food allergies — Signs and Causes

Food allergies may not only result in serious reactions but can also affect the skin, gastrointestinal tract, breathing, and heart. So, it is crucial to know how you can recognize if your child is allergic to a particular food. You also need to understand how food allergies affect your child’s health and how you can tackle this problem.

With a food allergy, the body’s immune system considers a particular food product as a dangerous foreign invader. As a result, it produces antibodies to fight the food allergen. Some recognizable signs of food allergies include: vomiting, wheezing, hives, throat tightness, runny nose, abdominal pain, tingling of the mouth and face, swelling of lips, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, itchy eyes, and trouble breathing. 

There are a few foods that can cause common food allergies in some people. Those common food allergy foods include: peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts (pistachios, almonds, cashews, and walnuts), fish, shellfish (lobster and shrimp), and cow’s milk.

The link between gut health and food allergies

Food allergies occur when there is an imbalance in the gut microbiota. It is still unclear how the change in the microbiota composition and function exactly affects the immune system and makes it exposed to food allergies. However, studies state that there are some key factors that lead to microbiota imbalance that further promotes the development of food allergy, which are-

  • Mode of infant delivery: A birth cohort study revealed that infants born by cesarean delivery are prone to developing food allergies as they have lower levels of Bacteroides and higher levels of Firmicutes, which causes food allergies.
  • Diet: A study elucidated that the Western diet, which is low in fiber and high in fat, is a reason for food allergies in Western countries. That is why it is said to have a nutritious and balanced diet.
  • Synthetic chemicals: Food additives (particularly synthetic), inhibits the growth of treg cells, which are essential for obtaining oral tolerance. This ends in increasing the risks of food allergy. Apart from this, air pollutants like nitrogen dioxide are also associated with enhancing the risks of food allergies.
  • Antibiotic intake: Women who undergo cesarean section are intended to consume antibiotics. This may result in disruptions in the microbiome, which leads to allergies. A study also showcased that consuming antibiotics in the first year of life increases the odds of a food allergy diagnosis. 

There is no doubt, some of these factors are inevitable. So, it is important you take steps in helping your kids so that they can lead a healthy life.

Can supplements and nutrition help kids with food allergies?

Supplements like probiotics contain lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidum, which plays an important role in human health. In fact, probiotics are known for balancing the gut microbiome, supporting the immune system, and preventing intestinal diseases. As a result, they help in improving food tolerance.

A study exhibits that after three years of consuming probiotics, infants with immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated cow’s milk energy developed cow’s milk tolerance. High levels of IgE indicate that the person has allergies.

Because some kids have allergies, there is a chance that they could miss important nutrients in the diet. Apart from giving them probiotics, it is helpful to look for alternatives to the food your kids are allergic to.

The table below suggests some alternatives to a trigger food-

Allergen

Potential Substitutes

Eggs

Legumes, fruits, dairy, veggies, fish, meat, and grains

Peanuts & Tree    nuts

Fruits, veggies, dairy, grains, eggs, fish, and meat

Milk

Veggies, fortified milk substitute, eggs, fish, calcium-fortified foods, legumes, and meat

Soy

Veggies, green leafy vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits, dairy, meat, and fish

Fish & Shellfish

Fruits, veggies, eggs, meat, enriched grains, and dairy

Wheat

Fruits, veggies, fortified grains (barley, rice, buckwheat, oats, and corn), meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and legumes

 

So, along with probiotics, nutrition also helps kids with food allergies. Children need to have a highly nutritious and balanced diet. Supplements and nutrition go hand-in-hand in building strong gut support and overall brain and immune support.

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