Al­ler­gies and Nu­tri­tion

Consumer Voice - - Change Of Season And Your Immunity -

Spring time is the sea­son for al­ler­gies, thanks to the pollen or dust in the air. Asthma is char­ac­ter­ized by lung air­way in­flam­ma­tion due to an in­ap­pro­pri­ate im­mune re­sponse. There is no par­tic­u­lar diet rec­om­men­da­tion to ward off such al­ler­gies ex­cept to avoid any­thing that wors­ens the symptoms. Cer­tain food ad­di­tives have been linked to wors­en­ing the al­ler­gic re­sponses. Chem­i­cals added as preser­va­tives, food colour­ings (es­pe­cially tar­trazine, the yel­low colour­ing agent) and some flavour­ing agents have been found to cause/worsen asthma at­tacks in some peo­ple. Sul­phites can also trig­ger asthma symptoms in some peo­ple. Used as a preser­va­tive, sul­phites are found in wine, dried fruits, pickles, jams, sugar, frozen shrimps and bev­er­ages. Ob­ser­va­tional stud­ies have re­ported as­so­ci­a­tions be­tween asthma and di­etary an­tiox­i­dants (vi­ta­min E, vi­ta­min C, carotenoids, se­le­nium, polyphe­nols and fruit), polyun­sat­u­rated fatty acids or PUFA (found in most veg­etable oils), omega-3 fatty acids and vi­ta­min D.

Cur­rently there is in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to sup­port the use of nu­tri­ent sup­ple­ments to com­ple­ment con­ven­tional treat­ment. How­ever, re­sults of on­go­ing stud­ies are awaited and ad­di­tional re­search is re­quired, par­tic­u­larly with re­gard to chil­dren. A good diet is an im­por­tant part of the over­all treat­ment plan. Mak­ing in­formed choices about what foods to eat and what foods to avoid may not cure asthma but it may im­prove the symptoms and over­all health.

Food Safety dur­ing the Tran­si­tion to Sum­mer

As sum­mer ap­proaches, we find an in­crease in stom­ach up­sets or di­ar­rhoea. Warm tem­per­a­tures are ideal for mi­crobes to flour­ish and, hence, keep­ing food at safe tem­per­a­tures is very im­por­tant. Micro­organ­isms can mul­ti­ply very quickly if food is stored at room tem­per­a­ture. By hold­ing at tem­per­a­tures be­low 5 de­grees C or above 60 de­grees C, the growth of micro­organ­isms is slowed down or stopped.

Ac­cord­ing to World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, the best way to keep food safe is to not leave cooked food at room tem­per­a­ture for more than two hours. All cooked and per­ish­able food should be re­frig­er­ated im­me­di­ately (prefer­ably be­low 5 de­grees C). Cooked food should be kept pip­ing hot (more than 60 de­grees C) prior to serv­ing.

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