Up to 40% of the worlds population (an upward trend!) suffers from some form of allergy. Nut allergy, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, eczema and many others. Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to substances that are usually harmless, such as foods, pollen etc. At least 10% of children around the world have eczema.
The chances to develop allergies are largely genetically determined. Study shows that 12% of children with no family history of allergy, 30% to 50% of children with a single parental allergy and 60% to 80% of children with biparental allergies will develop allergic disease.
While peanut allergies are what parents hear about the most — which makes sense given that the number of kids with peanut allergies has tripled in the past 15 years — there are other foods that are most likely to trigger an allergic reaction in children- cow’s milk, wheat, soy, egg, fish. Food allergy is different from food intolerance. A child might feel bloated or gassy after having a milk product, but that could be a sign of an intolerance to lactose. However, in case of allergy, the reaction will be much stronger like extreme gut pain or vomiting or even more serious. The good news is that most children will outgrow their food allergy. Approximately 85 percent of allergies to cow’s milk, soy, egg and wheat will resolve by the time the child is 8 years old.
An allergic reaction is an immune system response to a particular food protein. 70-80% of immune cells are located in the gut (large intestine). This is also home to 100 trillion bacterias (gut microorganisms). There is enough research linking bacterias to immunity. The shift in lifestyle, rising pollution, use of antibiotics, and processed food consumption has all together impacted the quality of bacterias in our gut. This has contributed to compromised immunity in kids and adults.
Studies state that a lack of diversity in the gut bacterias can also be associated to allergies- seasonal or nut allergies. Children who are exposed to antibiotic or medication soon after birth, increase the chances of developing allergies early on. (Read about peanut allergy)
The good news is that our immune system can be modified from as early as pregnancy to infancy and further as we age. A well developed immune system ensures the maintenance of health for infants and children, throughout life. (What other foods help with immunity?)
Probiotics are one way to resume the disrupted immune system. Probiotics are live bacterias found in certain traditional food like fermented rice or bean, wine, buttermilk, kefir, kombucha, yogurt, miso, kimchi, aged cheese, pickled vegetables. We provide these bacterias home, and in return they extract vitamins and minerals from food for our body’s healthy functioning.
Recipe for Fermented Mung Bean Pancake
- 1 cup Mung bean
- Soak mung bean for 6 hours (why is soaking important?). Purée with water into a thick batter. Add pinch salt and Leave to ferment overnight covered with a soft lid, in a dark space in shelf or inside oven.
- Once it’s fermented, add whatever veggies to mix you want (corn, capsicum, grated carrot) or don’t. Add turmeric powder. Heat the non-stick pan, add bit oil, drop a spoon of this batter and spread lightly (like pancake). Cover with lid to cook on low heat. Once done, turn to other side. Once done, serve. You can also top this with aged cheese (what is that?) and serve with any sauce on the side (some recipe of healthy sauce)
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- ADHD in kids: Symptoms and remedies
- Healthy Sprouts Pizza Recipe
- Black Halwa made with Carrot
- Remedy for dark circles at home: Must try!
- Indian food tradition: Authored by Meghna Sharma (New Delhi)