If you suspect your allergy symptoms are caused by food, or if you have undergone food allergy testing, you are probably already considering a food allergy diet. This consists of eliminating certain "trigger" foods in an effort to stop allergic reactions before they even start.
But, creating a well-balanced food allergy diet can be tricky, since so many nutrient-rich foods have been identified as triggers of allergic reactions. First, you need to determine which foods are causing your symptoms. Then, you can search for enjoyable substitutes for your favorite foods.
The good news is that, with the wide selection of foods available today, many people find that they can create a nutritious food allergy diet with non-allergenic replacements for the foods that may be triggering their allergic reactions.
These allergic reactions occur when your immune system mistakes a food for a harmful substance and your body makes antibodies to fight it. Symptoms, which may include skin rashes, abdominal distress, and, in rare cases, complete throat closure and shock, can then occur.
Interestingly, 90% of allergic reactions are caused by eight common foods:
Tree nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, and almonds
Fish, including bass, flounder, and cod
Shellfish, including lobster, crab, and shrimp
Soybeans or soy
With these foods in mind, you can start your food allergy diet. First, keep a written record of everything that you consume. Try eliminating one food at a time. Once you pinpoint your triggers, you may try:
Substituting dairy products with broccoli, spinach, and soy milk, for vitamin D.
Finding gluten-free recipes for wheat-flour-based products. Wheat flour, which contains the allergenic protein gluten, can be replaced with corn flour and rice flour.
Eating green or red beans, lentils, vegetables, and fruits with skin, for fiber.
Avoiding eggs, egg whites, and egg yolk.
Avoiding peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, and tree nuts.
Choosing vegetarian dishes or meat instead of shellfish or fish.
Checking food labels for soybeans.
Eliminating fruits with salicylates: strawberries, blueberries, and cherries.
Avoiding products with mold - mushrooms, some cheeses, and vinegar.
Check with your physician before you start a food allergy diet. Additionally, if you are experiencing allergic reactions to wheat, you may want to have a gluten intolerance test to determine if eating wheat-based food is causing your symptoms.