Can Food Allergies Affect Behavior and Quality of Life?

At the grocery store the other day, I picked up a copy of an interesting magazine, Autism File, geared toward families. The focus of this issue (April-May 2012) was the Autism-Allergy overlap and other nutritional information.In one article, I learned about salicylates, a substance naturally found in plants but particularly in fruits. For some people, salicylates cause red cheeks, aggression, rashes, digestive issues, and cravings for the same food. Isn’t it interesting–and unfair– that foods we crave may actually be allergans?Following are some tips for approaching this issue if you think you or someone else might be sensitive:


1. Buy locally-grown fruit. According to a researcher, Rosemary Waring, most children with autism have a deficiency in the enzyme PST which helps to digest salicylates. Fruits that are picked before ripe are higher in salicylates, so in-season, locally-ripened fruit from farmers markets may be a better choice.

2. Take enyzme supplements. Digestive enzyme supplements for phenols may also help for those with mild allergies.

3. Find a dietary approach that works for you. A couple of diets were recommended as a starting point: the Feingold diet, which has existed for decades, and the Failsafe diet. These diets remove amines and glutamates as well as salicylates but their approaches differ. There are other diets out there as well, so this is not an exclusive list. It’s up to each family to experiment and find what works for them.

More info can be found in books by Julie Matthews (Nourishing Hope for Autism, Cooking to Heal), a Certified Nutrition Consultant, author and presenter. Her website is By finding the foods that work for us, we can all have a better quality of life.

Smart Steps LLC  (c)2013

One thought on “Can Food Allergies Affect Behavior and Quality of Life?

Comments are closed.