What you should know about Food Allergies

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Almost everyone in the world is allergic to something. Allergens are all around us and they attack our frail human nature. Allergens are also present in what we eat and drink. It is quite unfortunate that delicious food can causes a lot of headache for someone. The symptoms of food allergy are quite clear. A food allergy reaction is when your immune system overreacts to the food or something in it

More than 50 million Americans have an allergy of some kind. Food allergies are estimated to affect 4 to 6 percent of children and 4 percent of adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Food allergy symptoms are most common in babies and children, but they can appear at any age. You can even develop an allergy to foods you have eaten for years with no problems. Learn more about the types of food allergies.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe. Just because an initial reaction causes few problems doesn’t mean that all reactions will be similar; a food that triggered only mild symptoms on one occasion may cause more severe symptoms at another time.

The most severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis — a life-threatening whole-body allergic reaction that can impair your breathing, cause a dramatic drop in your blood pressure and affect your heart rate. Anaphylaxis can come on within minutes of exposure to the trigger food. It can be fatal and must be treated promptly with an injection of epinephrine (adrenaline).

Sourced from: http://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergy

Allergy reactions vary from person to person. Not all reactions are severe and there are those that are severe to the point of being life threatening. Reactions will be seen immediately after eating or some hours after. The person can develop rashes or feel itchy among other things.

For some people, an allergic reaction to a particular food may be uncomfortable but not severe. For other people, an allergic food reaction can be frightening and even life-threatening. Food allergy symptoms usually develop within a few minutes to two hours after eating the offending food.

The most common food allergy signs and symptoms include:

Tingling or itching in the mouth
Hives, itching or eczema
Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

Sourced from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/basics/symptoms/con-20019293

Currently there are about 20 foods that have been identified as capable of causing food allergies. The most common culprits that have been identified to cause serious reactions are milk, eggs, fish, peanuts,cereals containing gluten among others. At this level it seems that nothing we eat is safe. It is therefore not a matter of what we eat but our eating habits count as well. We therefore need to develop a series of eating habits to be on the safe side.

Five Steps to Healthier Habits That Minimize Allergy Symptoms

1.         Add Plenty of Fiber to Your Diet — A minimum of 35 grams per day facilitates the growth of beneficial bacteria in your intestinal tract, increases optimal bowel movements and aids in binding of toxins and other chemicals for elimination. Add vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts (ones you know you are not sensitive to) and seeds to your diet.

2.         Cook and Clean Foods Properly — cooking foods eliminates bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Use proper cooking equipment (glass, iron or enamel pots and pans) to avoid ingesting chemicals and metals found in plastics, Teflon, and aluminum and stainless steel (nickel alloy). Always clean raw foods properly, since they can carry mycotoxins, bacteria, fungi and parasites. All fruits that can be peeled should be, as peels often collect mold. Thoroughly cleanse peel-free fruits such as grapes, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, and if you find one moldy berry in the box, the rest of the berries may be contaminated. Better to throw out than be sorry!

3.         Eat Whole, Organic, Seasonally Grown, Local Foods — Buy local and buy organic as often as you can to reduce your intake of pesticides, fungicides, hormones, antibiotics, heavy metals and chemicals. Studies show organic foods contain higher vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus are significantly lower in pesticide residues and higher in antioxidant activity.

Sourced from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-susanne-bennett/allergies_b_1363995.html

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