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Nutrition

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You are what you eat!

At Perth Allergy Clinic we believe in the phrase “you are what you eat”.  We want everyone to be the best version of themselves by eating nutritious foods.

It’s difficult enough today to eat a good nutritious diet avoiding EDCs, POPs, Phthalates, Toxins, Heavy Metals, Herbicides, Pesticides oh and let’s not forget Allergies???

So how can we help you manage your way through this modern day maze?  We can start by sharing our knowledge with you on this web-page.

More people are paying close attention to the food they eat; reading labels with eagle eyes and looking for the term ‘organic’.

If you look up a definition of ‘organic farming’ it refers to food produced without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or any other artificial chemicals. That’s the real reason that many consumers choose to invest in organic – because they are choosing to avoid the chemical cocktail that ‘conventionally’ grown produce comes with – namely pesticides and fertilisers.

In a nutshell, many of the chemicals used in agriculture are now termed the somewhat ominous ‘endocrine disrupting chemicals’ or EDCs. These are unfortunately everywhere in our environment now, and many are considered ‘persistent organic pollutants’ or POPs, meaning they don’t break down and disappear but remain in the environment whether we like it or not.

High levels of these EDCs in women have been linked to abnormal puberty, irregular menstrual cycles, reduced fertility (or infertility), polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis and fibroids.

Common Reactive Foods

  • dairy products, including milk, cheese and yoghurt
  • chocolate
  • eggs, particularly egg white
  • grains
  • peas, beans and lentils
  • corn
  • strawberries, citrus fruits and tomatoes
  • yeast brewers and bakers
  • flavour enhancers such as MSG (monosodium glutamate)
  • food additives
  • wine, particularly red wine, histamine and other amines in some foods

Substances in foods that may trigger a food intolerance reaction.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG, additive numbers 620 and 621) Glutamates also occur naturally in such foods as Camembert cheese, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, soy sauce and mushrooms. MSG stimulates nerve endings, perhaps accounting for its function as a flavour enhancer when it is added to food.

Vasoactive Amines such as tyramine, serotonin and histamine are well known triggers of migraines in some patients and are present naturally in pineapples, bananas, baked meat, vegetables, red wine, wood-matured white wine, avocados, chocolate, citrus fruits and mature cheese. Amines can act directly on small blood vessels to expand their capacity, perhaps accounting for their effect on flushing, migraines and nasal congestion in some patients.

Salicylates are natural aspirin like compounds (aspirin was originally isolated from the willow tree bark) present in a wide variety of herbs, spices as well as fruit and vegetables. Reactions to these may be even more common than reactions to artificial colours and preservatives. Aspirin can trigger hives (urticaria) by acting directly on skin mast cells. Natural and structurally similar salicylates can also worsen hives in some patients.

Toxins Other than contamination of food with micro-organisms or their products (spoilage, food poisoning), some foods contain toxins than can cause severe symptoms. For example, if some types of fish are stored poorly, their gut bacteria can convert histidine to histamine, resulting in allergy-like symptoms.

Irritants. Caffeine and curry are gut irritants and can trigger indigestion in some people.

Eating Organic Foods

The point remains that we simply don’t know yet what the long-term effects of all the additives and unnatural chemicals is food. This makes many people choose to do what they can now, rather than wait – one of these choices is to eat organically to try to limit their chemical exposure.

What to Look for When Buying Organic

According to the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) it is important to look for the term ‘certified organic’ on your items, as this can only be used by those who are actually producing what you are really looking for.

But it’s more than avoiding the pesticides; organic foods are typically made without synthetic colourings, preservatives, additives or genetically modified ingredients, so there is a bigger picture here to understand especially when it comes to allergy sufferers.

Eating an organic diet is only half the picture.

Organic foods can still cause inflammatory conditions within the gut unless you have identified which foods evoke an IgG pro-inflammatory response.

Tips If You Cannot Afford to Go Organic?

It’s true that going organic has a cost (some say it’s the true cost of food production) so if you cannot stretch to going all organic – you can still make some smarter choices based on those foods likely to contain higher levels of chemicals than others.

You can also:-

  • wash conventionally grown produce as soon as you purchase it
  • use a fruit and veggie wash to help break down the waxes and pesticide residues
  • fruit and veggie wash helps to reduce bacterial contamination
  • buy from local farmers markets
  • buy foods in season
  • choose foods lower in chemical content – see table in the next panel
Higher in Chemicals
(In order of Highest Chemical content)

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Capsicum
  • Nectarines
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Snap Peas
  • Potatoes
Lower in Chemicals
(In order of Lowest Chemical content)

  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Paw Paw
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Rockmelon
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Potato

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We hope you've had a wonderful weekend 💙

We hope you've had a wonderful weekend 💙 ...

Starting off the week with some kind words about our wonderful Nutritionist Sarah, from one of our favourite patients, Tina.💚

Starting off the week with some kind words about our wonderful Nutritionist Sarah, from one of our favourite patients, Tina.💚 ...

💙💙💙 ...

Starting off the week with some amazing feedback from one of Holly's patients. We are so pleased to see this progress!

Starting off the week with some amazing feedback from one of Holly's patients. We are so pleased to see this progress! ...

We hope you've had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to an even better week! 💙

We hope you've had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to an even better week! 💙 ...

Thank you Esti for this incredible feedback from your consult with Sam!

Thank you Esti for this incredible feedback from your consult with Sam! ...

We hope you've had a restful weekend ☺️

We hope you've had a restful weekend ☺️ ...