Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Improving Allergies with a Macrobiotic Diet

When we fill our bodies with toxins and extreme foods, our bodies are unable to detoxify. Suddenly, our body becomes imbalanced and unable to ward off disease.

When a person becomes ill, it means some imbalance can be found in the body. Our bodies can only stand so much before they break down. When we eat things that are unsuitable for us, the body reacts with sneezes, coughing, hives, mucus, diarrhea, vomiting, skin eruptions and anaphylactic shock in its effort to dispel toxins. The more toxins built up, the stronger the reaction will be.

The good news is that balance can be restored by changing one’s diet.

An excessive intake of the following items can increase a person’s susceptibility to allergies:

  • dairy products
  • oily and greasy foods
  • poultry and eggs (especially for skin allergies)
  • refined flour
  • fruits and their juices (especially tropical fruits)
  • sugar, honey, soft drinks
  • fish (especially blue-skin fish for skin allergies)
  • raw foods
  • spices
  • drugs and chemicals

Eating macrobiotically is more than just using health foods. It’s an expression of our respect for nature and our harmony with her. When we change our diets, suddenly all these things that have been the enemy, like cat and dog fur, freshly cut grass, or trees in bloom no longer put our bodies under siege.

Here are several suggestions for allergies:

  1. Minimize oatmeal, flakes, and grits. Avoid baked flour products, especially those with yeast. If you crave bread, have some natural sourdough or unleavened bread on occasion. Stay away from pies, cakes, and pastries for now.
  2. Have miso soup or miso rice every day.
  3. Avoid raw foods in the beginning except good quality natural pickles.
  4. Minimize intake of oil, using it only for lightly sautéed vegetables once or twice a week, if you really desire it. Use dark sesame oil.
  5. Initially reduce your intake of beans and bean products, using smaller portions of the “regular use” beans (azuki, lentil, and chickpeas) only. Among bean products, tofu is the best to use.
  6. Be especially light on all salt seasonings including shoyu, miso, and umeboshi.
  7. Generally avoid nuts and nut or seed butters. Roasted seeds are alright to use.
  8. It’s best to stay away from fruit initially. If you crave it, eat a little bit of cooked, temperate climate, dried fruit. If you crave a sweet taste, first try satisfying it by eating naturally sweet vegetables such as squash, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, etc. You can prepare delicious desserts using grain-based sweeteners, chestnuts, and other non-fruit ingredients. Then, if you still crave an even sweeter taste, eat the fruit.
  9. Minimize animal food, take only white meat fish, once or twice a week at the most and only if you truly desire it.
  10. Avoid spices (including mustard, pepper, and curry).
  11. Make sure to include both lightly cooked foods and well-cooked foods daily.
  12. Good digestion is very important, so it is imperative to chew very well.
  13. Pay particular attention to vigorously scrubbing your body with a hot damp towel once a day for good circulation.

For specific allergies such as hay fever, asthma, hives, eczema, food, and chemical allergies, see a macrobiotic counselor and take cooking lessons to learn specific home remedies and recipes that will improve your condition. From Allergies: Cooking for Health Macrobiotic Food and Cooking Series by Aveline Kushi