A fundamental concept to understand is food allergies or food sensitivities. This is becoming a wide spread epidemic in our modern culture, almost 1 out of 3 people I meet have some form of irritation to a common food. If not identified and addressed early on this can create an open door to various conditions such as irritable gut syndrome, leaky gut, frequent constipation, brain fog, head aches, skin reactions, arthritic conditions, candida(fungal growth), and in prolonged cases can cause auto immune conditions.
The most common food allergies are conventional wheat(gluten), soy, corn, sea food, refined sugar, peanuts, and dairy products. The beauty of transitioning into a living foods lifestyle is you automatically eliminate these common food allergens. The process of removing these food groups from the diet for good is easier for some and more difficult for others. There is a paradox in our food culture which is many people, if not most are physiologically and psychologically addicted to foods that they are allergic too. You can easily figure out which foods cause irritation based on how you feel after you consume them. The habit that must be developed here is mindfulness. You must learn to eat with attention to intention. You can separate out each major staple food you consume daily to identify which is causing the effect. Pick one of those foods each day to consume in the morning time, rotate them each morning until you find the trigger.
Children suffer more now than ever before of food sensitivities. This is do in part by the over board compromised immune system children have due to not receiving the needed probiotic bacteria from their mothers breast milk, and/or poor diet. All the common food allergens listed above(and more) are fully present in most standardized school cafeterias. Children consume these foods with little to no thought about the reaction it is causing. An allergenic reaction is often times ignored or thought by adults to be an unrelated incidence. Another extremely common event where children and young adults become susceptible to break outs is traditional restaurants. I have heard story after story where a child asks if their order contains any number of foods they are allergic too. When the server confirms their order is clear of these foods they still develop a break out, vomiting, or in some cases children go into anaphylactic shock because their allergy is so severe. This confusion is due to cross contamination of food in the kitchen, which is all too common. Another reason to avoid diners and traditional restaurants and move more towards a natural living food and super food diet.
There is an ever arising body of research, both scientifically and anecdotally, that suggests childhood behavioral problems can be directly linked to food allergies and nutritional deficiencies. It has been argued by the medical institution and psychiatric community that this is not true although common sense would argue against such judgements. If anything were effecting the way children and adults behaved it would be a good consideration that it is what we put into our mouth. The common diagnoses of ADD and ADHD are given to children who have difficulty focusing on detailed and often times robotic instructions in the class room. This is being suggested to be due to common food allergies, chemical additives in processed food, blood sugar imbalance(hypoglycemia), and specific nutritional deficiencies- essential fatty acids are the most common. A study in Germany showed that increased consumption of high sugar confections in addition to lowered quality diet are associated with a higher likelihood of emotional disturbances in children. One British study showed that 60% of children diagnosed with hyperactivity had worse behavioral problems when exposed to food additives, compared to only 12% of children without hyperactivity. When the allergens and chemical laden foods are removed a common occurrence is the child's behavior normalizes. As the child’s diet improves blood sugar balance becomes stable and their ability to focus will increase as well.
One further note to consider is a food born allergy may be a deeply rooted sodium(salt) deficiency. This is a counter-culture statement but requires ones personal investigation. Allergenic responses, digestive issues, and fungal-candida outgrowths are correlated with adrenal exhaustion, often times a result of a sodium deficit. If one has any of these conditions I recommend, along with removing health detracting foods, to consume 1 liter of salt water, preferably 1/4-1/2 TBL of sea salt. It is the summation of many pioneering health leaders that all health conditions can be remedied by the addition of salt water as water and salt are the basis of all life.