Allergenic foods: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. How to prevent food allergies by following a healthy and balanced diet.
Food allergies should not be underestimated! They can present with reactions ranging from mild symptoms, such as itching and redness, to reactions so severe that they compromise our health. This is the case, for example, of anaphylactic shock. Responsible for food allergies are allergenic foods.
To prevent food allergies, it is necessary not to consume or perhaps replace the food that is responsible for it.
Allergic and allergenic food, what are we talking about
An allergen is a substance that is generally harmless for most people, but which in some individuals is capable of producing allergic reactions of various kinds. An allergenic food is a product or ingredient containing a specific substance (allergen), capable of causing a reaction in an allergic individual
Most common allergenic foods
More than 160 allergy-causing foods have now been identified. The Ministry of Health includes the following foods among the most common:
- Milk: allergy to milk proteins is very common, especially in newborns, but it can regress by the age of three.
- Eggs: they can cause serious reactions such as anaphylaxis and therefore affect the body and organs in a few minutes.
- Crustaceans: fish can also cause allergic reactions but it is above all crustaceans that are responsible for quite strong reactions.
- Nuts and seeds: you may be allergic to just one nut (the lucky ones) but allergic reactions can also occur when you ingest more than one variety of fruit. It can be difficult to avoid nuts as they are present in many industrial food preparations. For this reason, extreme attention must be paid to food labels. These fruits can hide, even in the slightest trace, in many and varied foods. This is the case with industrial snacks
- Peanuts: it is among those counted as capable of causing anaphylaxis.
- Cereals and soy: Although rarely, cereals can trigger a cross-reaction with pollen allergens.
Allergic foods, the symptoms
Typically, the symptoms of a food allergy manifest over a variable period of time; it can go wild immediately or after a few hours. Among the most common symptoms are found:
- Redness of the skin
- Tingling sensation
- Itching in the mouth
- Swelling of the face
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Abdominal cramps
- Coughing or wheezing when breathing
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Inflammation of the throat
- Sense of tightness in the chest
- Loss of consciousness.
Allergenic foods, how to replace them
Eliminating the food that triggers the allergy from the diet could, in the long run, create protein deficiency and energy imbalance. This is why it is advisable to find an alternative. In this regard, we will suggest some foods that have the same nutritional properties as the foods to be replaced
How to replace milk
Those with cow's milk intolerance need not worry. In fact, there are several foods rich in calcium, including:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Dried fruit
You can also use other types of milk, equally rich in vitamins, including:
- Soya milk. It contains less protein but, in turn, does not contain cholesterol. It has about 50% less fat than whole milk
- Almonds. They are rich in vitamin E and B12
- Rice. Contains vitamin B12, iron and calcium
- Hazelnuts. They provide calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, as well as a significant amount of antioxidants
- Coconut. Contains calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and folic acid
- Quinoa. It is rich in magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
How to replace the egg
Egg yolk has a high nutritional value thanks to its variety of vitamins and minerals. Contains vitamins A, E, D, B12, B6, B2, B1 and folic acid, as well as being rich in iron, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. In case of allergy, we can replace it with:
- Green leafy vegetables
How to replace fish
Fish contains proteins, mineral salts such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine, iron and B vitamins. It is also a natural source of polyunsaturated fatty acids. To replace it, consume:
- Dairy product
- Dried fruit
How to replace dried fruit
Not everyone considers dried fruit an important element of the diet, even if they are not allergic to it. Without a doubt, it is a food category rich in protein, fiber, potassium, unsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and vitamin E. You can replace it with the following foods:
- Olive oil