Food Allergies vs. Food Intolerance, by Cliff Smith, MASSAGE MagazineIn health food news today, complaints from consumers believing they have food allergies have become more common with such statements as, “I can’t eat that.” Why do so many people, especially health food fanatics, believe they have food allergies?
Food allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a protein molecule in the offending food. This can happen even with those who are picky health food consumers. The body is unable to break down that particular protein molecule, so it reacts by trying to “get rid of it.” It produces a chemical called histamine, and symptoms appear in the form of rashes, hives, itching, wheezing, breathing problems and lots of mucus being expelled through the mouth, nose, ears, lungs or sexual organs. More serious reactions from food allergies include: vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, drop in blood pressure or even death.

Intolerance to certain foods is different than true food allergies, and this is a more common complaint at the health food store. With food such intolerances as lactose intolerance, in which a person has difficulty breaking down the sugar in the milk, the symptoms are much milder. One may have some bloating, excess gas, cramping or diarrhea. While food intolerance is unpleasant, it is not life threatening like food allergies can be in some severe cases. The usual distresses are intolerances to wheat, soy, dairy and anything the health-food-store shopper feels is too expensive.

The question the health food consumer ought to ask is not, “What food am I allergic to?” But rather, “Why is my immune system reacting to what should be health food?”

When determining specific food allergies and intolerances, some factors to consider are:
1. What is the trigger food?
2. When am I eating the trigger food?
3. Am I improperly combining fruits and vegetables, or grains or meat and dairy?

The list can be quite exhaustive to hunt down the offending trigger food and how it is being consumed. In fact, most food allergy experts will tell you to keep a diary of everything you eat, and when you find the trigger food to just avoid eating it. That may sound simple, but if you react to many things, including those that should be health food, it’s not so simple. Of course, you can eliminate the most common triggers to food allergies, including: corn, wheat, eggs, dairy and peanuts. But if that doesn’t work, then what?

The truth is your immune system can overreact to many substances. The best way to address food allergies is to strengthen your immune system and get in balance with all the systems of the body. Find specific health food to feed your five main systems equally: immune, endocrine, digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems.

When you feed all your body parts with healthy, whole-food nutrients and eliminate the fake, processed foods in your life, your five systems can come into a perfectly natural balance. Then, you can eat what you know you should be eating. It is better to strengthen the body’s systems with properly combined health food and ward off illness and disease the natural way. 

When you consume the right nutrients, the body operates at optimum levels for a more relaxed, healthy life. You have access to so much good health food and plenty of options for avoiding food allergies that it’s a shame to limit your choices unnecessarily.

Cliff Smith, MASSAGE MagazineCliff Smith is the owner of, specializing in properly combined, concentrated whole-food formulas that nourish, cleanse and balance the body by feeding the five systems. Customers at his health food store have found solutions to food allergies and other challenges. Visitors to the store are encouraged to take the free alkaline food test, request catalogs, sample products and find solutions to food allergies with health foods that are not sold in typical retail stores.