Growing up we never really ran into other kids that were allergic to foods. Everyone ate a peanut butter & jelly sandwich at lunch and we all ran after the ice cream truck in the summertime. But nowadays, we're hearing more and more children being allergic to one food item or another. Jordan can't have peanuts, Chloe can't eat shellfish, or Madison can't eat ice cream. It's the saddest thing when a kid can't have ice cream! =(
Well, we got curious and searched for a some answers. We found some interesting theories. Nothing is completely proven and everything is still under research but it does make a little bit of sense to us, at least for now. Here's what we discovered:
Our Food has Changed The foods we eat today are much more different than the foods we ate years ago. It's more industrialized and processed. There are synthetic nutrients and added preservatives.
We are Hyper Sanitized Our cleaning materials like dishwashers and antibacterial soaps are much stronger than what we were using before. These chemicals kill everything (good and bad bacteria) and our immune systems may not have evolved to accept these man-made substances yet.
We're Indoors too Much We're sitting at home and staying in way more than we used to. Staring at screens and socializing from phones. We're missing out on the natural sunshine and its vitamin D, which plays a critical role on the development of our immune systems.
The theories say that these changes in how we eat, what we eat, and how we live have also changed how we develop as human beings. The microbiomes in our guts are different. How and what our immune systems need to process are different. These changes impact children the most since their bodies are still developing and still learning how to grow.
It's clear that the health community (doctors, researchers, and all of us) are still unsure of what is causing this increase in food allergies among children and adults. But from reading and learning more, there looks to be some simple things we can do to improve our health.
First, let's eat less processed foods and, here it comes...Let's eat more organic! It seems like more additives and preservatives in our foods lead to more long term health issues. With organic foods, we know there are less of all those unnatural substances. Plus! There are no GMOs, synthetic pesticides, or herbicides with organic foods. Those are really bad on their own. (We wrote a post about how bad they can be here.)
Keep reading those nutrition facts and ingredients lists too. Just because it's organic doesn't mean it's perfect. Keep educating yourself on what you're putting into your body. The crazy thing is that you might not feel it today but what you eat today will make a huge difference on your body years later. For example, you can eat fries and burgers everyday in your 20's and 30's but you'll probably have some high cholesterol problems in your 40's and 50's.
Keep clean and maintain good hygiene. I know, know. Some articles say we are too clean nowadays but keeping clean is important, especially with Covid hanging around. It's how you do it that's probably the difference. Disinfect and use sanitizing wipes. It's OK. The articles we read focus more on the dishwashing chemicals. Maybe use more eco-friendly versions or even less chemicals. Steaming hot water can be pretty effective too. Just saying. In any case, it sounds like what our food touches before we put in our bodies is more important than what we're touching that stays on the outside.
The one we agree with the most is to go out and enjoy the sun! Take a walk, toss a football, let your kids roll down a hill. Heck, even do some chores like raking those leaves, pulling those weeds, and fixing that fence! =)
Enjoy your life. Eat well for your health.
Here are a few interesting articles we found about allergies: