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Most Common Food Allergies and What Is Causing Them

By Fredrica Syren: 

Living with a food allergy can be challenging and may cause great discomfort. My husband and daughter suffer from milk allergies, one of the most common food allergies. They are not alone, unfortunately. In the U.S. today, 6 percent of children under the age of 5, and 4 percent of adults are affected by a food allergy. And the numbers are increasing.

Food allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a normally harmless protein in a food; the body, thinking it’s under attack, reacts. Signs and symptoms of a reaction can be digestive discomfort, hives and swollen airways. In severe cases, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.

Food allergies sometimes are confused with the more common food intolerance reaction, which is much less severe.

The eight most common food allergies are:

Food-Allergies image
Image borrowed from chughtailab.com

· Eggs

· Fish

· Milk

· Tree Nuts

· Peanuts

· Shellfish

· Soya

· Wheat

According to a research by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, pesticides and chemicals in tap water can be causing the rise of food allergies in the US. Dr. Sami Bahna, professor and the Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, has an opinion about allergies and their increase. Dr. Bahna feels that the extensive use of antibiotics and antibacterial cleansers, along with the chemical elimination of bacterial and parasitic threats from water and waste, contribute to the rise of food allergies. Basically, we’re too clean and healthy, so the immune system has taken to attacking foreign food proteins as if they are invading bacteria.

Most children will outgrow milk, egg, soy and wheat allergies according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Meanwhile, it’s really important to remember to

· read ingredient lists to make sure there are no “hidden” allergenic foods;

· inform school and teachers about allergies;

· when eating in restaurants, ask about ingredients and inform the chef of allergies; and

· when in doubt, err on the safe side — don’t eat it.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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