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Why Our Predecessors Didn't Have Food Allergies (But We Do)

It seems that there is an ever-increasing rise in food allergies these days. Some have begun to wonder, has it always been that way? Have humans always suffered discomfort due to gluten, herbs, spices, dairy, nuts, and more? The answer, put simply, is no. Read on to learn about what’s causing this increase in food allergies and what is so different about us and our ancestors.

According to one study published in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies in children increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011. What is causing this outrageous rise? For the most part, it is many of the added ingredients (hormones, preservatives, etc.) added to many of our food sources. This includes the hormones and antibiotics found in much of our milk, as well as the artificial flavors, food color and preservatives added in processed foods.

The simple reason why many of our grandparents and older ancestors didn’t suffer from allergies as we do is that they didn’t eat processed foods like we do now. The food that they ate was natural, fresh, and not made in a lab. Babies were breastfed and not given processed formula. The ingredients they consumed were not peppered with preservatives, additives, hormones, antibiotics, colorings, or anything else.

It seems, then, that there is a simple solution after all to solving the food allergy crisis—eat natural! This means avoiding all grocery items that contain anything artificial. Even better, try growing as much of your own produce as possible. Source your meat locally, from a vendor that does not use hormones or antibiotics, and allows animals (whether it’s chicken, cows, or pigs) to roam freely and consume a natural diet.

There are other aspects of your life that may need a makeover as well. Unlike our grandparents, many of us stay inside most of the time, if not all day. We are glued to the TV, computer, phone, or some other screen; outdoor exercise is limited and is often seen as an inconvenience. Previous generations also didn’t run to the drugstore for every sniffly nose or fever; they understood that some things are best cured with time and some good old-fashioned chicken broth. When you rely on medicine too much, your body becomes dependent and can’t live without it. Not to mention, we don’t ever really know what all is in the medicines we buy.

So take a page out of your grandparents’ book and live a more wholesome, natural lifestyle. Diet, exercise, hydration, and being outside are all important components to staying healthy and preventing food allergies.

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