What Are Allergies?
The word allergy comes from the Greek, ‘Allos’, meaning ‘other’ and ‘Ergon’, meaning ‘reaction’. It is a hypersensitive reaction to a particular allergen that has entered the body via the environment, skin contact, or diet resulting in an aggravated immune system response.
According to the Allergy UK website: ‘The UK has some of the highest prevalence rates of allergic conditions in the world, with over 20 per cent of the population affected by one or more allergic disorder. (M. L. Levy, 2004) A staggering 44 per cent of British adults now suffer from at least one allergy and the number of sufferers is on the rise, growing by around 2 million between 2008 and 2009 alone. Almost half (48 per cent) of sufferers have more than one allergy, (Mintel, 2010)’. www.allergyuk.org
Cause and Effect
Allergic reactions can include symptoms such as rashes, swelling (oedema), itching, abdominal bloating, vomiting or other unpleasant symptoms. In extreme cases, a full-body reaction, ‘anaphylactic shock’ can occur.
Anaphylaxis – an acute systemic (multi system) and severe type 1 Hypersensitivity allergic reaction in humans and other mammals. The term comes from the Greek words, ‘Ana’ (against) and ‘Phylaxis’ (protection).
Anaphylaxis occurs when a person or animal is exposed to a trigger substance, called an allergen, to which they have already become sensitised. Minute amounts of allergens may cause a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.
Anaphylaxis may occur after ingestion, skin contact, injection of an allergen or, in rare cases, inhalation. Examples of triggers are bee stings and extreme peanut allergy.
What actually causes an allergic reaction is our own immune system dealing with what it believes to be an invader. Food allergies are commonly referenced, but it is important to remember that, most of the time, food sensitivities are a problem which can have many causes. One such cause could be an enzyme deficiency resulting in poor digestion or intolerance to chemicals in some foods, rather than a full immune-system response. Food intolerance reactions, although sometimes severe, are rarely life-threatening. www.medicalnewstoday.com
An allergic reaction, will cause immunoglobulins to form in the blood and is a blood-borne response of the whole immune system, not just a seemingly local irritation in the stomach or abdominal bloating. Food Allergies can, in some cases, be severe and life-threatening.
BBC News recently reported a study which had found evidence that clostridia bacteria helped prevent peanut allergies (in mice). The study tested the effects of mice lacking normal gut bacteria, alongside those with specific groups of bacteria, and found those with the clostridia bacteria had a reduced allergic response. www.nhs.uk
There have been many studies carried out showing the benefits of supplementation of various vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids and fatty acids.
These studies were carried out using supplements, but it is our opinion that these nutrients can be obtained from raw fruits and vegetables.
Interestingly, an observational study published in 1984 showed that: ’In all cases, a group of children suffering from symptoms of food allergies showed evidence of deficiencies of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria with Enterobacte-riaceae overgrowth.’ www.webmd.com
What to Avoid
If you are already aware of your ‘trigger’ allergy foods, such as nuts, then you will naturally avoid them, but it is also important to check labelling on products as seemingly unrelated food stuffs may contain traces.
Common allergens – Whether you have a known allergy or are yet to find your triggers it is also advisable to cut back on foods known to cause or aggravate certain allergies. These include common foods such as eggs, fish, peanuts (and also Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts), milk, shellfish, wheat and citrus fruit.
High HI Foods – Juice Master always advises that we eat foods with as little human intervention (HI) as possible, and this can have obvious benefits to the allergy sufferer. Avoid highly processed foods, meats, sugar, grains, alcohol and smoking.
What to Include
As well as our recommended ingredients below, the research we have talked about indicates a good plant-based probiotic may benefit those prone to allergies.
Alkalines – Juices made with apples, alfalfa, celery, parsley, pumpkin, beetroot, carrots, cucumber, spinach and watercress (which helps to alkalise the system) can all help reduce allergic sensitivity.
Water – Increased water intake, as according to Dr Jensen (author of Juicing Therapy – Nature’s Way to Better Health and a Longer Life), is important as dehydration can increase the production of histamines adding to the severity of allergic reactions.
The Juice Recipes
The Ginger Shot – taken from Jason Vale’s Super Juice Me! 28-Day Juice Plan
3cm ginger root
Simply juice the ingredients and knock back as a shot
Juice Master’s Boost Juice – taken from Jason Vale’s 7-Day Juice Challenge
1 handful alfalfa sprouts
1 handful watercress
1 handful parsley
1 handful kale
¼ mug broccoli
10oz shot fresh wheatgrass juice or 1 tsp Juice Master’s Wheatgrass Powder
If you have a centrifugal juicer place one apple in the chute of the juicer. Tightly pack in the alfalfa, watercress, parsley, kale and broccoli and pop the other apple on the top. Push through and then juice the pineapple. If you have a masticating juicer then simply juice all the ingredients together. Add the wheatgrass shot or powder and stir thoroughly in before drinking.
Golden Delicious – taken from The Funky Fresh Juice Book
¼ lemon (peeled with pith on)
2 Golden Delicious apples
1cm ginger root (or more if you like a fiery kick)
½ banana (ripe)
Juice the pineapple, lemon, apples and ginger together and blend with the ripe banana.
Please note, it is impossible to give a definitive list as what supports one person can be a trigger food or allergen for another. You must stay your own juice detective at all times and listen to how your own body responds to certain foods and always consult with your healthcare provider when making changes to your diet which may affect your medication. Please be aware that we are not doctors, so it is important to consult with your GP or medical practitioner BEFORE making any changes to your diet. The suggestions above are not meant as an alternative to any current medical treatment so please DO NOT stop taking any medications you are on. They are also not an endorsement of their effectiveness, or a recommendation that they should be followed but instead, are provided for informational purposes. None of the information on the Natural Juice Therapy site is intended or implied to treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease.