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Posted on 03/30/2010

Who doesn't love the classic saying, "April showers bring May flowers"? We see the soil awaken with the first sprouts of green poking up. Did you know that those showers bring more than flowers? Go below the surface. It's the awakening of microorganisms. Billions to hundreds of billions of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and various 'bugs' are stirring. That translated is mold. Mold that is being thrown up into the air we breath.

Many people are allergic to mold. Mold is encountered many ways. Moldy basements, old moldy houses, closets, the great outdoors. If you are a mold sufferer you know the discomfort it can cause, head aches, migraines, sinus trouble, asthma, bronchitis, light headedness, brain fog, irritability, hives, runny eyes, attention deficit, hyperactivity, anger/rage, polyps...........the list can go on. Most of the moldy areas I've mentioned are easier to avoid. The big problem is that it's impossible to stay away from the air. Unless we are walking around with an astronaut helmet equipped with a oxygen tank.

So what is one to do to alleviate the symptoms of our mold allergies? One thing we can do for ourselves is to keep our living area free of mold. By keeping basements dry, bathrooms well ventilated, removing house plants we improve our indoor air. This lessens the burden on our immune systems. That alone can not always be enough to keep us feeling like ourselves this time of year. Many people turn to one or more of the many over the counter meds for relief. Those may improve the mold allergy symptoms but one is left feeling tired, dehydrated and constipated. Many turn to doctors for a pharmaceutical prescription. Those may also help but the list of side effects leaves me wondering if the risk of sudden cardiac arrest is worth the elimination of a few allergy symptoms.

Did you know there is more you can do to lessen the burden of these mold allergies on your immune system. It might even be enough to get through the season med free! We have to look at the molds in our lives that we can control. Our immune systems are like a camels back. It can only hold so much before it collapses. I will assume for the sake of this blog article that mold is the only allergy you are suffering from. (In reality, this is not the case!) We can't control the outdoor air. We can control our indoor air. WE CAN ALSO CONTROL THE FOOD WE EAT!

Believe it. It's true. We can control the food we eat to get more relief or total relief from the mold allergy. Yes, this means sacrifice. But just imagine being free of allergy symptoms, not wasting time and money on meds and doctor visits and reducing the strain on your immune system that would increase quality of life, even length of life.............

What foods would we want to omit from our consumption habits? The answer, the moldy foods. What follows is a list of moldy foods (meds & vitamins) to omit if you are a mold allergy suffer. P.S. Yeast is a mold.

Sources of Yeasts and Molds
Alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, whiskey, etc.)
Antibiotics
Baking yeast
Brewer's yeast
Buttermilk
Cheese
Citric acid
Coffee
Dried fruit
Fermented foods
Foods enriched with vitamins
Fruit juice (unless homemade)
Herb tea
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
Leftover's (food)
Malt
Many fresh fruits (es. grapes, oranges & melons)
Meat from animals fed antibiotics
Mineral supplements (es. selenium & chromium)
Miso
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Morels
Mushrooms
Nutritional yeast
Nuts and nut butter
Peanuts and peanut butter
Pepper
Products with vinegar (mayonnaise, dressings, catsup, mustard, pickles, kraut, olives, etc)
Soy sauce
Sour cream
Sourdough bread (imitation made with yeast)
Sourdough bread
Sprouts
Tamari
Tea
Tempeh
Tobacco
Tomato sauce
Torula yeast
Truffles
Vinegars
Vitamins, especially B vit, unless labeled 'yeast free'
Xantham gum (fermented from corn)
Yogurt
Special thanks to Beth Loiselle, The Healing Power of Whole Foods, for the list.

Fear not for I know what I'm talking about. I have dealt with allergies including mold allergies in myself, my husband and with each of my children. At one point my husbands health was in such poor condition he could not tolerate leftovers! Sounds crazy but it's true. Molds were one of the causes of his sinus polyps and crashing immune system. My children, among other effects suffered by molds, demonstrated behavioral symptoms, sinus congestion, agitation, hyperactivity and goofiness (like a happy drunk).

I would like to add that dairy products are highly bacterial, mucous producing and contain large amounts of hormones. It would be wise to omit dairy products for a healthy immune system.

I (we) found health through the foods we chose to eat. You can too. Now, that's the way to reduce health care cost!!