Allergies a rising issue in SA children

ALLERGIES are on the rise in South Africa, particularly in children where it impacts on their learning ability, mood, behaviour and quality of life.

According to the Allergy Foundation of South Africa, worldwide allergies are on the rise and in South Africa a staggering 40% of sufferers are children.

In a statement, world-renowned nutrition expert Patrick Holford said that both the allergy problem and solution can be linked to diet.

“One in three children with behavioural problems have allergic reactions to foods. Other than overt physical reactions, individual food allergies can affect thought processing and cause irritability, agitation, aggressive behaviour, nervousness, anxiety, ADHD, autism, hyperactivity and learning disabilities,” explained Holford.

Dietary guidelines that parents can use to reduce allergic potential include:

1. Completely removing wheat and dairy products from their diet for a month or so, monitor their symptoms

2. Have an IgG ELISA food allergy test done and see a nutritional therapist

3. Improve your child’s digestion by including plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and seeds in their diet

4. Ensure you keep antibiotics and painkillers to a minimum as they damage the digestive tract

5. Include fish in their diet to ensure that they are getting sufficient omega three oil, zinc, and vitamin A

6. Avoid foods containing chemical food additives. The most common ones to look out for are aspartame, tartrazine and MSG

7. Eat whole, natural foods as much as possible

8. Choose organic food (free from pesticide residues)