High fiber diet found to protect against food allergies
(NaturalHealth365) Some of the most common food allergies include dairy, wheat, peanuts and shellfish. Food allergies can reduce quality of life for those who suffer from them and make everyday diet decisions more challenging. However, recent research has found that eating more foods with high fiber can help to reduce food allergies and their unpleasant side effects.
A study of mice found that the development and persistence of food allergies was directly linked to their gut bacteria health. Gut bacteria are known to release a specific fatty acid in the presence of fiber, changing the immune system in positive ways and reducing allergic responses.
High fiber foods improve the health of the gut microbiome and immune system
The study results, published in the Cells Report journal, found that mice receiving a typical diet with average amounts of fiber had more severe peanut allergies than mice fed a diet that was high in fiber.
Gut bacteria break down dietary fiber into short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids bind to T cells and support the immune system by regulating gut inflammation. In cases of food allergies, the gut can be out of balance before and during allergic reactions to various foods.
Beneficial bacteria thrive in the presence of fiber in the gut, which promotes the healthy development of regulatory T cells and helps to control gut inflammation. The result is a reduction in allergic reactions. A vitamin A deficiency in infants is also linked with food allergies developing later in life.
The health benefits of fiber are incredible
These findings have led researchers to come to the conclusion that the higher incidents of food allergies in recent years are related to diet and gut microbiome. Previous theories blamed microbe exposure in the environment; however, these study results show that a fiber deficiency in the gut could very likely be a strong component in many allergy cases today.
Compared with our ancestors, the modern diet has become far higher in sugar and fat, and lacking in foods with high fiber content. A high fiber diet is already linked with numerous health benefits, including blood sugar regulation, heart health, reduced risk of stroke, bowel and colon health, and weight management.
Foods with high fiber are easy to put into a healthy diet
There are many delicious, nutritious foods that are loaded with fiber. They can be easily incorporated into the diet to increase fiber intake and its range of health benefits.
Beans and legumes are excellent fiber choices, as are avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, squash and turnips. Asian pears, raspberries, blackberries, coconut and figs are excellent sources of fiber from fruit. Walnuts, almonds and flax seeds bring more fiber into the diet along with healthy omega-3s.
And, don’t forget the value of chia seeds and ancient grains like quinoa – which will greatly improve your fiber intake.
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