A Little Zest…

Health, Wellness and a Zest for Life

Nut Allergies & Asthma

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I recently became aware of nut allergies through a friend whose 10 year old son is extremely allergic to peanuts and all tree nuts. It is a scary way to live and this young boy’s mom & dad must be so careful, not just about what their son eats, but what he touches and what he breathes.  That means everything from soap, laundry detergent, air freshener, cleaning products, playing in the same room with someone who is eating nuts, etc. Unfortunately, mom & dad aren’t around 24/7, so this young boy must be cautious when he is offered anything from anyone. He must ask “is it safe?”  If he doesn’t know for sure if something is safe to eat, he doesn’t eat it.

Because of my son’s friend, I decided to do a little research on tree nut allergies. Sadly, I came across a young boy via the internet named Oakley who passed away in January 2017 from eating a piece of pound cake that unknowingly had nuts in it. Oakley only had a mild allergy, but the nuts in the pound cake were overwhelming and took his life way too soon. This is tragic and could have been avoided and I believe there needs to be more awareness regarding such allergies. RedSneakers.org is a website dedicated to raising awareness of asthma and allergies, specifically nut allergies through the creation of educational programs and community outreach. #LIVLIKEOAKS #redsneakersforoakley #nutallergyawareness

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Along with peanuts and shellfish, nut allergies are also one of the food allergens most frequently linked to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction that impairs breathing and can send the body into shock. Symptoms of a tree nut allergy include: Abdominal pain, cramps, nausea and vomiting. 1 in every 13 children suffer from food allergies, says the FARE – Food Allergy Research and Education.

So what is a tree nut you ask?  Tree nuts include, but are not limited to, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, coconuts, filberts/hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, Shea nuts and walnuts. Tree nut allergies are distinct from peanut allergies, as peanuts are legumes, whereas a tree nut is a hard-shelled fruit.

Nut allergies are very prohibiting to those who suffer and can easily be overlooked. It can lurk in a simple oil or extract that is used to make a brownie or fry  a chicken.  It is surprising to me how many people, especially children, who are being diagnosed with such allergies and how little those who do not suffer from such allergies know. Allergies can be lethal and thus it is important to understand them more. If you or someone you know suffers from allergies, checkout these cool signs to help keep everyone in your circle informed and reminded.

Because of my recent awareness I was sharing with my friend a laundry detergent that I use and thought she might be interested because it is natural and could be a great option for her and her son. I learned right away that although this particular laundry detergent was 100% biodegradable, has no phosphates, no sulfates (SLS/SLES), no fillers, no optical brighteners, and no dyes or fragrances, it was not necessarily safe.  My friend asked, “does it have any tree nut oils or products?” I was quick to be reminded that although nuts are natural too, they can be unsafe. Just because this detergent was free and clear of many harmful chemicals, I didn’t even think about whether or not it was actually safe and free of nuts.  Together we checked the full ingredient list and we were thrilled to find out that Norwex’s Ultra Power Plus laundry detergent is considered safe in my friend’s son’s world! This was great news and something I was so excited about so I  decided I had to share because Norwex products are such a perfect option for those who not only suffer from nut allergies, but asthma and other allergies alike.

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Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent