It starts in the gut: How your diet impacts your allergies


John Zwetchkenbaum, M.D.

Dr. John Zwetchkenbaum is the chief allergist and founder of AAPRI, and author of Allergy Free with Dr. Z, a book about the underlying causes of allergies. Dr. Z received his medical degree from Boston University and is certified by the Institute of Functional Medicine. His philosophy is to treat the cause, defeat the symptoms of asthma and allergies.

My journey through traditional and functional medicine has taught me that it all comes back to food as medicine. As I expand my knowledge, learning how antioxidants and other innovative treatments can help mitigate inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune disease, it has become even more clear to me that diet is more than just providing calories — proper nutrition assists growth, supports immune function, spurs healing, and aids disease prevention.

Baby steps to better nutrition

We’ve had a lot of questions about Juice Plus+. I’ll tell you my story. My daughter introduced me to Juice Plus+ after her health coach recommended it as a way to help her in her new career as a teacher. Not only did she make it through first year without any absenteeism, she noticed that her allergy symptoms and itching improved. Many patients are skeptical about this claim.  How can these “food capsules” do this?  

The answer is easy: Food is medicine

Our food not only provides key nutrients, it can direct our own microbiota (resident organisms that live symbiotically) to support our immune health and reduce inflammation. Many of the symptoms we see as allergies — or sensitivities, because all of it falls under the heading of “reactivity” — begin in your gut or intestinal tract. That’s why your diet is such an important factor behind your worsening allergies.

The Juice Plus+ shakes and gummies provide key nutrients, including ancient grains like organic amaranth, organic quinoa and millet, along with broccoli sprouts, alfalfa sprouts and radish sprouts. So if you cannot get the recommended 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, Juice Plus+ (which is simply concentrated food grown in the highest manner) can at least get you started on the path toward better nutrition. That’s why I have been strongly recommending Juice Plus+ to our patients here at AAPRI.

Whole foods, whole health

With our focus on functional medicine, we are always looking for ways you can achieve total health, because that’s what will lead to reduced symptoms, reduced reactivity, and a better quality of life. Defeating asthma and allergies won’t happen through pills and inhalers (although they can help with current symptoms while we get your whole health in check.)  It takes a new understanding and practice of life choices — it takes knowing that food is medicine, and using it accordingly.

I know this might be a lot to digest, for some of my patients. (Pardon the pun!) I get it. It took me a long time to adopt these concepts, myself. But at AAPRI, our whole health care team is dedicated to this new focus. We’re here to help. Take some baby steps — ask our staff about Juice Plus+, check out our website to learn more about functional medicine, or schedule an initial consult with our naturopath, Dr. Paré.

You’ll be glad you did.

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