Soy Allergy? How Fermenting Takes the “Allergy” Out of Soy and Other Foods

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Beer and wine do have antioxidants, but find out why the wild fermentation process used to make them is NOT so great for your health.

Food allergies affect approximately 12 million Americans, according to scientists.1 And it seems they are on the rise, affecting a higher percentage of children than adults.

Food allergy symptoms can be mild or more serious and even fatal. Reactions can appear on your skin or in your digestive, respiratory or cardiovascular system.2

The symptoms of food allergies include:

  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Hives
  • Itchy nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood pressure drop
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

These symptoms result because your body thinks a food you ate is harmful, creating an immune reaction to that food.

While some individuals may have a reoccurring allergic reaction to the same food again and again allergic reactions can also be varied and often even delayed. The reaction comes days later.

Many people experience “food sensitivities” or “food intolerance”. And while you may not have a full blown allergic reaction, these can cause uncomfortable symptoms that occur after eating certain foods.

Which foods are the most common culprits?

The top food allergens are:3

  • milk
  • eggs
  • peanuts
  • soy
  • wheat (and gluten)
  • tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts. pecans and cashews)
  • fish
  • shellfish (such as shrimp)

How Food Allergies Develop

There are many theories about how food allergies develop. Could your problem be genetic? Might it be caused by eating too much of one food?

While scientists are exploring various treatments including vaccines to eliminate food allergies, the most common recommendation is simply to avoid the offending foods.

Body Ecology’s founder, Donna Gates, teaches that food allergies are often the first sign of a digestive tract that is out of balance and a lack of an inner ecosystem.

A healthy inner ecosystem (your intestines) should be teeming with beneficial microorganisms, called microflora. These microflora (beneficial bacteria and yeast) actually help you digest your food. And when you have too few of them, it is more difficult to digest many common foods like gluten, dairy, protein, etc. Dairy-loving bacteria help you digest dairy. Grain-loving bacteria naturally digest grains, Bacteria eat up the sugars in food consuming them for their own food and also digest proteins for us as well.

And, when there are too few beneficial microflora in your inner ecosystem, Pathogenic bacteria and yeast show up, which lower your immunity and harm your digestive tract.

This sets the stage for food allergies, candida and other illness and disease.

Want to learn how to help your digestive tract heal, so that you can begin to eat your favorite foods again? Get your copy of The Body Ecology Diet (with a FREE bonus!) today

The Body Ecology Diet was written by Donna Gates as a way to teach natural ways to help your body recover from food allergies, candida and low immunity.

At Body Ecology, we want you to know that you can heal your inner ecosystem (your digestive tract) naturally, so that you can begin to eat the foods you love again…yes, for many, even gluten and dairy foods.

One of the keys to healing your intestines and restoring your inner ecosystem is fermented foods and drinks

Fermented foods and drinks can actually deliver huge amounts of potent microflora to your inner ecosystem. AND, it’s important to know that if you ferment those foods that are common allergens, like gluten, dairy and soy, you will find you can now consume them once again.

Let’s start by examining soy to find out why.

Soymilk is given to millions of babies in formulas. Soy “milk” is poured onto the breakfast cereal of school age children. Soy food “imitations” from tofu hot dogs to tofu ice cream are widely available and are popular among millions of vegetarians. Soy protein bars and shakes are believed to be “healthy protein sources” for weight loss and for athletes. But are they?

Not these choices mentioned about. In fact, eating unfermented soy is not recommended on The Body Ecology Diet, even if you don’t have an actual soy allergy.

Unfermented soy can create “estrogen dominance” in a woman’s body. It can lower a man’s testosterone levels. It should not be given to babies in soy formulas. Soy can also suppress your thyroid and therefore your energy. It can create imbalances in your entire endocrine system and weaken your immunity. It can also lower your libido, and increase your risk of endometriosis, heart disease, and cancer.

On the other hand, fermented soy products like miso, tempeh and natto can be very healthy vegetarian protein choices. We encourage you to eat them instead of the unfermented soy because of their amazing health benefits. You can learn more by reading: Miso Soup: A Delicious Bowl of Health and Anti-Aging

Two recent studies from Spanish and American scientists have found that people with soy allergies do not react to soy products when they are fermented before consumption.4


Because people who are allergic to soy have immune systems that react to the proteins in soy by releasing antibodies. These antibodies cause the allergic symptoms.

During fermentation however, the allergy-causing soy proteins are broken down into tiny pieces that are no longer recognized by the immune system as the same protein it would normally react to.

In other words, no more allergies!

But even if you don’t have an allergy to soy, we recommend eating only fermented, non-genetically-modified (non-GMO) soy products.

That’s because soybeans, like all beans, are a hardy combo of protein and starch…mostly starch… Soybeans are difficult to digest. The enzymes in your digestive tract have a difficult time breaking down the starch and the protein especially if you’re low on stomach acid. And who isn’t these days since our blood is chronically acidic…a common cause of low stomach acid.

By fermenting soybeans first, the beneficial bacteria and yeast…during fermentation…do the tough job of “predigesting” for you. So when it’s your turn to eat them, your body has no problem assimilating their healthy nutrients.

Any food that is improperly digested by your body causes acidosis, toxins and basically long term damage to your inner ecosystem, to your body, and to your health.

Fermentation for Better Health

Fermented foods and drinks are a cornerstone of Body Ecology because they support your digestion, and cocnsitently build your inner ecosystem. They work by:

  • Helping to break down foods, making them easier to digest and assimilate.
  • Removing some of the anti-nutrients like phytic acid in grains.
  • Eating up the sugars in food that may feed candida (pathogenic yeast).
  • Adding beneficial microflora (friendly bacteria and yeast) to the food.
  • Increasing the nutrient value of foods because they boost the vitamin and mineral content of the food.

There are other foods that commonly cause allergies or symptoms of digestive upset and just like soy, fermenting these foods first can help to eliminate these problems.

To Re Introduce Dairy Foods into Your Diet again:

It’s all about training your gut flora to digest the dairy.

We recommend that you start with Body Ecology’s now “world known” fermented drink, Young Coconut Kefir. This kefir, made from fresh coconut water, is full of “dairy-loving” bacteria that will “re-innoculate” your intestines with dairy-loving bacteria. It helps them colonize right inside your intestines and create that “inner ecosystem.”

Once your inner ecosystem is back in balance, and if you really feel milk kefir would be a valuable food for YOUR UNIQUE BODY then start by taking baby steps and reintroduce it slowly.

Milk kefir should preferably be made from raw, organic cow milk or raw organic goat’s milk. Drink about ¼ cup each morning on an empty stomach for one to two weeks.

Better yet, create a “Green Veggie Smoothie” using filtered water, a sour Granny Smith apple and some green veggies (celery, romaine, spinach, zucchini, etc). Add the ¼ cup of milk kefir and a pinch of sea salt.

After a week or two increase the amount of milk kefir to ½ cup. If you have no negative systems, you’re on your way.

Still, milk kefir is a concentrated food, so small amounts are always best. In Russia, Poland, Turkey and all over Europe where kefir is popular people do not turn up a giant glass of kefir and drink it down like we Americans would do. To learn more, read: Are You Sensitive to Casein in Dairy and Don’t Even Know It?

Gluten: This is a hard to digest protein found in wheat and many whole grains and cereals, and is hidden in many processed foods today. In some people, it causes serious gastrointestinal disorders, like celiac disease.

While eating a gluten-free diet seems to be the only answer for people with gluten-sensitivities, part of the problem may be that people with imbalanced inner ecosystems have been eating improperly prepared grains for years, further destroying their digestive systems.

Grains have phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors in them that are harmful to your digestive system and make extracting nutrients difficult. Soaking, sprouting, or fermenting them eliminates this problem.

Body Ecology – The Natural Solution

Many people who have been on the Body Ecology program for three months or more, and have added fermented foods and drinks into their daily diet, report feeling healthier and more energetic than ever.

Furthermore, they often confirm that they’ve been able to re-introduce foods into their diet that they were not able to eat before. Even gluten.

Fermented foods and drinks are true super-foods, and we hope that further research will continue to prove, and popularize that fact, in the interest of better natural health for all of us.


  1. What is a food allergy? The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.
  2. Reviewed by Sharma, Hermant, P. MD. Food Allergies.
  3. ibid.
  4. Daniells, S. March 7, 2008. Fermenting takes the allergy out of soy: studies
    http://foodnavigator-usa.com/news/ng.asp?id=83806Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN. The Whole Soy Story. Wise Traditions Conference, November 2006. http://www.fleetwoodonsite.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=11&osCsid=710d1e5b3567d83b3ec429eb228bb160
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