Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical system, offers a scientific approach to food allergy by determining the correct diet based upon an individual’s constitution ( vata, pitta, kapha) & seasonal alterations.
Pitta people are allergic to hot, spicy foods, fermented foods, sour fruits, tomatoes, potatoes. Kaphas develop allergies to dairy products and cold beverages. Vatas are allergic to hard-to-digest foods such as popcorn, beans and raw vegetables.
When foods, (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) having different attributes, tastes, heating or cooling properties, and post-digestive effects are eaten together, agni (gastric fire) will be slowed down. The foods can then remain in the stomach for seven to eight hours. These same foods, if eaten separately might well stimulate agni, be digested more quickly and even help to burn ama (toxins)
Thus, according to Ayurveda, one should eat according to one’s constitution and take fruits, starches, proteins and fats separately at different times of the day. Combining foods improperly can produce indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction and gas formation. This condition, if prolonged, can lead to toxemia and disease complex. For example, eating bananas with milk can diminish agni, change the intestinal flora producing toxins and may cause respiratory allergies
Symptoms of food allergy include diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, swelling of lips, tongue, abdominal cramps, cough wheezing, sneezing, runny nose, blocked nose and rashes on skin.
Food allergy can be managed by :
** Avoiding the foods which cause allergic reactions.
** Having a regular routine of life as it stabilizes the immune system
** Practicing yoga and meditation as it balances mind & body thereby reducing allergic symptoms.
** Taking a balanced diet with enough proteins, calories, minerals and vitamins.
** Selecting food with suits the individual constitution and seasons.
** Combining the foods to improve tolerance. Diet should be made wholesome by appropriate combination of different foods.
** Combining the foods to reduce intolerance. The suitability of food is improved by appropriate processing.
** Slowly adapting to the unsuitable food.
** Ayurvedic herbal preparations - Rasayanas are traditionally used in treating food allergies.