Allergen Attack: Why Your Grandparents Didn’t Have Food Allergies, But You Do
Were our grandparents superhumans? Where did they get their super-immunity from?Food allergies affect an estimated 220-250 million people worldwide, and are more commonly seen in children (5-8 per cent) than in adults (1-2 per cent). In the past decade, no known countries have reported a decline in allergy-related incidences – allergies have actually seen a rise, if anything. Serena Williams, Drew Barrymore, Clay Aiken, Billy Bob Thornton, Lionel Ritchie, Kate Middleton, Eva Longoria, Cameron Diaz, Jessica Simpson, Vanessa Hudgens, Miley Cyrus, and chances are, you too, are allergic to something or the other, even if you don’t know it yet. Up until the early 20th century, most people did not even know what an allergy meant. Why? Because there was no need for it. Why have a word for a condition that didn’t exist? And you can be sure that even if it did, it was a much rarer situation than it is now.
So while our grandparents have lived long, happy lives without having to face an allergy, ever, we are already overfamiliar with the various varieties of it – gluten, lactose, peanuts, pollen, dust, animal dander, citrus fruits, fish, shellfish, soy, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, oats, insect sting, latex etc.
So what was it that made the older generation almost invincible? In a single word – lifestyle.
1. Their diet comprised fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables –
Today, we depend on canned fruits and packaged vegetables for our vitamins – fruits and vegetables that are pumped with chemicals, so they look fresh even weeks after they were plucked. Back in those days, every house had a little garden, where the whole family would indulge in gardening. Where did they find the time? The same place that we find time to spend on social media, today. While now we need a constant reminder to eat a fruit or 2, then, people just had them as par for the course, before or after meals. Of course, since resources were limited, not everyone could afford things that were even remotely ‘exotic’, so they chose seasonal fruits and vegetables, which did them plenty good, by ensuring a seasonal cycling of nutrients.
2. They didn’t practice fad diets, or play restrictive games with their bodies. They ate when food was available –
And let’s begin by realising that those weren’t the times of luxury, and if you weren’t associated with the royal family, chances are, you lived a rather humble life, even going hungry at times. Sometimes there was food to eat, and sometimes there wasn’t, so the concept of overindulgence and obesity never came about. They also never fell prey to fad diets, marketing gimmicks, calorie counting, and other destructive scenarios, and had perfectly healthy habits.
3. They cooked meals at home, preparing food from scratch –
No ready-to-eat, low-calorie, low-fat, or other kinds of laboratory-made foods. Everything, right down to salad dressings, was homemade. These days, even if you make a salad at home, the dressing you choose would most probably come out of a bottle, which, needless to say, negates any benefits that the salad would’ve given you. How? Jump right to the next point.
4. They didn’t eat GMO foods, food additives, stabilisers, or thickeners –
Lucky for our grandparents, additives, antibiotics, stabilisers, thickeners, GMO foods, and hormones, which help preserve shelf life and pad the pockets of food producers, didn’t exist then. So they only ate unadulterated, pure food.
5. They got maximum sunlight –
Vitamin D is the answer to your problems, and I’m not even asking what they are. Back in the olden times, there weren’t many means of transport, and seeing a car on the road was a rare thing, forget owning one. So rest assured, any distance under 10 km had to be walked on a daily basis, which is both great exercise, and exposure to sunlight! People walked to their schools, workplaces, grocery stores etc. every single day. Vitamin D is vital for a healthy immune system, and it is the immune system that regulates allergic responses in our body, along with the ability to resist and fend off illnesses.
What’s the conclusion, you ask?
What happens when you eat stale/spoilt food? You fall sick. What happens when you smoke or chew tobacco? You increase your risk of cancer. What happens when you drink too much? You end up with a bad hangover, and more. And what happens when you don’t eat a balanced diet? You have nutritional deficiencies.
Image source: http://www.ctsinuscenter.com/
Nutrition affects each and every cell in our body; so does lifestyle. So if these 2 things are not right, the health of each cell, every tissue, and all the organs in your body will be compromised. To put it simply, we have more allergies and sensitivities than ever before because of the poor quality of food we consume, and the lifestyle we follow. The air, water, and land are more polluted today than they were years ago. Stress levels are higher, our lifestyles more sedentary, and our food almost toxic. So until we all work together to make planet Earth habitable again, we will continue to get sicker. What are you waiting for? Let’s begin!