Food Allergies: Discover the Culprits, Prevent the Symptoms

Food Allergies: Discover the Culprits, Prevent the Symptoms

In today’s modern world, more than one-fourth of all adult Americans are convinced that some of the foods they bite into wind up biting them back with recurrent symptoms such as hives, skin rashes, diarrhea, and vomiting. In fact, these are the most common telltale signs of allergies.

According to most health experts, true food allergies are quite rare, probably affecting less than 4% of the adult population. There are some individuals who think that they have a food allergy but in fact they have a food intolerance. The problem with food intolerances is that they also produce some of the same uncomfortable symptoms that food allergies create hives, rashes, bloating, cramping, gas, and diarrhea. A food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by your immune system. An intolerance is an abnormal response but doesn’t involve your body thinking that an infection is present (does not involve an immune system response).

It is important that the person knows if what he is experiencing are true food allergies. In addition, if a person has a bona fide food allergy, he must learn how to avoid the culprit. Here is a list of the common culprits that cause food allergies in humans.

These foods account for almost 90% of all food allergies:

  1. Peanuts
    As a legume, the peanut can be a healthy addition to most diets. But it is among the most allergenic of all foods. In people with severe allergies, just a fraction of a peanut kernel can be enough to set off a reaction. This also means avoid peanut butter!
  2. Tree Nuts
    Walnuts and other tree nuts, like Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, filberts, pecans etc., are among the most allergenic foods. If a person is allergic to one true nut variety, there is chance that he is also allergic to others, but not necessarily to peanuts, which are legumes.
  3. Shellfish
    Although shrimp gets much attention as an allergen, a broad class of shellfish can cause an allergic reaction. This class includes other crustacean like lobsters, crabs, and prawns, and mollusks such as snails, mussels, oysters, scallops, clams, squid, and octopus.
  4. Finfish
    Compared with other major food allergens, the proteins in fish are more vulnerable to heat and other forms of preparation. Therefore, some people allergic to fresh cooked fish can eat the