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Why are nut and seed allergies on the rise?

You’ve probably seen or experienced a huge increase in nut and seed consumption over the last few years, because more people are recognizing how delicious and healthy they can be.

At the same time nut and seed allergies are also on the rise. Why? My favourite go to holistic nutritionist Sondi Bruner offers her enlightening responses in today’s interview.

I’ve also included two of her tempting allergen-friendly snack/dessert recipes below.

1. Nut allergies seem to be an increasing concern in many countries. Why?

Our environment and food supply have experienced monumental changes in the last few decades. Our bodies are reacting to these transformations, sometimes in minor ways and often in very frightening, violent ways.

In some cases, people are reacting not to the proteins found in the nuts, but to the pesticides and chemicals that has been sprayed on them, or to the mold contained in certain kinds of nuts.

At the same time, our gut flora is changing. More than 20 million Canadians suffer from digestive disorders – and 70 percent of our immune system is located in our digestive tract.

2. What about seed allergies?

Rosemary-Biscuits-2Sesame seeds and other sesame products are one of the top allergens in Canada. Mustard seeds have now also made the list. Allergic reactions to seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, flax and poppy do happen, but they’re not as common.

Experts suggest that the extreme rise in sesame allergies can be attributed to overexposure – sesame seeds have made their way into a wide variety of food products, from bagels to burger buns to hummus to salad dressings.

The smart foodie suggestion: Try Sondi’s allergen-friendly Rosemary Raisin Mini Biscuits.

3. What can we do to minimize the risk of developing these allergies?

Date-Bars-4I think that good nutrition in early life is very important to minimize the risk. There’s increasing evidence that exposure to gut health bacteria, especially in early life, plays a very important role in alleviating allergies.

Since gut health is vital to immune health, I recommend taking care of our digestive tracts. Focus on foods that support your immune system, reduce inflammation and nourish the digestive tract.

Also, try to buy the best quality food you can afford, preferably items that haven’t been grown with chemicals or pesticides, or foods that contain tons of additives.

From the smart foodie: How about nourishing yourself with Sondi’s allergen-friendly Chocolate-covered Medjool Date Bars.


Feature image credit: Grant Cochrane

Delicious looking snack/dessert images: Sondi Bruner



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