In Part 1, we talked about the value of eating foods in season to get the right amount of Vitamin D from the sun. It’s all about harnessing free energy! Now in Part 2, we talk about the negative, things that could be sapping you of your energy; allergies are more than just a nuisance.
Have you ever noticed how often people say ‘my allergies are playing up’? And I’m not just talking the arrival of pollen in springtime, but like they’re something that are part of them? Because they are; they’re part of an imbalance in two main areas in your GI tract: the top and the bottom.
- Low stomach acid is epidemic.
While pollen does indeed make you sneeze if you get a nose-ful of it, it’s not necessary to dread spring, something you just have to resign yourself to and live with. The truth is that seasonal allergies are much more than a nuisance. They’re a sign you’ve low stomach acid. No not high; in fact 99.9% of problems occur because our stomach acid is too low. Only 0.01% because it’s too high. High stomach acid problems are extremely rare!
So how is this true? And yes, acid reflux is very real. Apart from eating stressed or on the run, which means digestion wasn’t switched on and so acid reflux results from more un-digestion, in-digestion occurs when we eat a meal, even relaxed with friends and family, and we just can’t digest it. The stomach is all about acid; it’s designed for a normal pH of 1.5 – 3.0. Hydrochloric acid is excreted into the stomach at a pH of 0.8…that’s almost pure acid. Its job is to:
- Bathe the stomach
- Disinfect the stomach
- Kill bacteria and parasites
- Activate pepsin, so we can digest proteins
- Stimulate the digestive hormone, gastrin
- Break down proteins
If our stomach pH just isn’t acid enough, food builds up in the stomach waiting for digestion to occur. Until it’s full up and something’s gotta give: the cardiac sphincter opens upward, and food goes back up. But this food alongside the not-acid-enough mix from the stomach is too acid for the esophagus, so it burns. Which is where and why antacids work. They put out this burn. But as they too travel with those contents back to the not-acid-enough stomach and contents, it makes everything even less acid again! Antacids work, but not over the long term.
- We’re all bugged: balancing guy flora
We’ve all got Candida. And H. Pylori. Yup. You too. Except we don’t all have yeast or bacterial infections: they occur when things get out of balance. Gut flora is the major regulator of the immune system for better or for worse and when the gut environment is out of balance, a malfunctioning and over-reactive immune system is the result.
When the gut is out of balance, pathogenic microbes overgrow and take over, producing toxic substances as a by-products of their metabolism. Some of these are actually important role when the pathogens are kept in check by good flora. But, when the good flora is absent or not playing a dominant role, these pathogens can overproduce toxins, and histamine, causing many functions in the body that react to histamine to go haywire as excessive amounts pour into the blood.
It’s not you, it’s them! You potentially suffer from an overgrowth of pathogens in your gut that are overproducing histamine!
Steps For Eliminating Seasonal Allergies From Your Life
- Work on improving your stomach pH. Start with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg’s) 15min before each meal. More info here
- Eliminate pasteurized dairy from your life in all forms. Pasteurization of dairy denatures fragile milk proteins and renders then allergenic among other problems. Raw grass-fed dairy would be an excellent alternative here: raw milk actually comes with the enzymes to digest it too but that’s a whole other blog. More info here
- Look to significantly reduce or eliminate grains and sugars in all forms from your diet. Many people with seasonal allergies report nothing short of miraculous improvement when gluten containing grains or even complete avoidance of grains and sugar is followed particularly during allergy season. This needn’t mean a life of deprivation:
- Instead of pasta, try zucchini zoodles or even peel flat for ‘tagliatelle’ (and even get some sneaky veggies and nutrients onto your plate while you’re at it) with a delicious fresh pesto, both ready in minutes
- Instead of bread, try kale, parsley and shallot bread
- And eliminating sugar needn’t mean eliminating treats
Nothing’s good or bad, just on or out of balance: stomach acid or gut bacteria.