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Raw Food Challenge: Nut Allergies

Food allergies are the result of the body’s immune system having an adverse reaction to normal foods ... this is very individualistic. Some people who are allergic to nuts are allergic only to specific ones, and many outgrow their allergies. Genetics can be responsible for allergies, since a weakness in the immune system can be inherited.

Why do Some People Get Food Allergies?

If the bowel’s mucous membrane is sick (if it cannot absorb nutrients, or because of fungus or poor eating habits) the screening pores of the natural wall are becoming bigger. If they are, then larger substances in food (mostly proteins) are entering your bloodstream when they should not be doing so. Your body in turn is sending out antibodies to fight off those substances. If there is too much to fight off, the body will remember that substance and produce antibodies in a larger quantity than it normally needs to make sure they are killed off quickly. In other words, the body produces antibodies to counter what it conceives to be an attack and in so doing, it causes an allergic reaction. In a nut shell (sorry!), this is what a food allergy is.

The body manufactures two specific antibodies in response to this situation. IgG antibodies are increased in common food intolerance or ‘hidden’ allergies. These are the usual short-lived but uncomfortably annoying allergies that should be avoided but are not life-threatening. On the other hand, 'classic' food allergies produce IgE antibodies, and this can result in anaphylactic shock, which requires emergency procedures to survive.

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Allergies and Raw Foods

Adhering to a raw food diet usually has one of two results when it comes to allergies. Probably the most common consequence is that after complete detox has been achieved, the allergy disappears and the foods can be gradually reintroduced. The enzymes in raw foods aid digestion but must be eaten very slowly and chewed well to fully realize the benefits. The other solution is exactly the same one found on any diet-substitution. People who are allergic to nuts or avocados can find replacements that deliver the nutrition without the problems. Sunflower seeds are one possible substitute. Hemp seeds are becoming more popular as they have shown no propensity for causing allergic reactions. By substituting hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, or quinoa for any kind of nut, you can easily adjust your hearty raw recipes.

Quinoa to the Rescue

Quinoa is not actually a grain but as a substitute it provides excellent nutrition, especially for those who don’t consume nuts or grains. Quinoa is classed as a vegetable protein, which is very easy to digest. It is gluten free, and usually non-allergenic. It contains all the essential amino acids along with iron, potassium, B vitamins, zinc copper and manganese. Raw foodists usually stop eating grains after a certain point, but quinoa is a good bridge.