Food allergies have become a very popular topic in today’s conversation, and rightfully so. For any parent whose child has an allergic reaction to specific foods, the thought of sending that child into any public setting can be scary. Adults with these allergies sometimes don’t fare any better: finding that the very things they are allergic to often pop up in the most unforeseen places. So much talk about food allergies often makes us wonder: have things always been this way?
While the answer is not as clear cut as a yes or a no, we can say with some certainty that food allergies are much more prominent now than they were in the past 50-100 years. Part of this is due to the fact that we are able to determine more accurately that food is causing problems for a person. However, much of this has to do with lifestyle changes that have occurred in the past several decades. Here are some reasons why food allergies didn’t seem to be an issue for our grandparents and great-grandparents:
1.) Food was eaten in season, and went through minimal (if any) processing.
While our grandparents and great-grandparents grew their own food in order to have something to eat, our generation has supermarkets on every corner that are filled with produce grown thousands of miles away, food items that contain preservatives, and aisles of processed foods. Fresh food that is free of processed ingredients is just naturally better for us.
2.) They lived with a healthy metabolism.
When you combine the fact that our generation tends to lead more sedentary lives and that our food contains more sugar than ever before, it’s no surprise that we often have health issues. In contrast, our ancestors were more active in their lifestyles and ate food without surprise ingredients. This allowed their bodies to digest things naturally. Instead of being addicted to sugar, their bodies would crave what they needed.
3.) Nothing went to waste.
You might be surprised to realize that our trash cans and garbage disposals are often given some of the most nutritious ingredients in the kitchen. We are too quick to dispose of meat bones and the ends of vegetables. When allowed to simmer in water for several hours, these ingredients are the backbone to a nutrient rich beef or chicken bone broth that has been highly valued for its medicinal properties. Our ancestors also made great use of organ meats, which are a powerhouse when it comes to nutrients.
4.) More time spent outdoors.
The sun is nature’s perfect source of Vitamin D, which helps promote a healthy bone structure and muscle system. Our immune systems use Vitamin D to help fight off infections and illness. Because our forefathers spent so much time working (and playing) outside, they were less likely to suffer from illnesses or osteoporosis.
The good news is that none of these things are insurmountable. With careful planning and preparation, it is possible to eat meals free of processed foods and ingredients, to live a more active lifestyle, and to spend more time outdoors. What experiences does your family have with food allergies? How have you all been able to combat them to promote wellness within your family life?
Post adapted from this article