Food Allergies: Allergic To Milk / Egg / Soy? Here Are Healthy Alternatives To Common Food Allergies
Food allergy is an immune response to certain types of food indicating that there is something that is not suitable for our body or it cannot cope up with. People are commonly allegeric to eggs, nuts, wheat and soy.
Food allergy: You must take care of your nutrient intake even if you have food allergies
- The most common of all is allergy from wheat or its products
- Milk can trigger allergy because of presence of lactose in it
- Peanut allergy is also a common kind of allergy
Food allergy should not stop you from having nutrient-dense food or food of your choice. Remember, you can always substitute a few food items and get the most of it by adding it to your regular diet. Alternatives, if known and planned can always be arranged and turn out to be our saviour in times of distress. If you are a foodie and refrain yourself from your favourite food items due to food allergy, we got your back!
What is a food allergy?
Food allergy is an immune response to certain types of food indicating that there is something that is not suitable for our body or it cannot cope up with. In such cases, an antibody called IgE is released in our body whenever any allergen (allergy-causing chemical) gets in it and as a sign, our body shows symptoms of allergic reactions.
Here's a list of healthy alternatives for some common food allergies so that your body gets all the nutrients it needs:
1. Wheat allergy
The most common of all is allergy from wheat or its products. It is not suitable not only for those with celiac disease (or gluten intolerance) but also for people with wheat allergies (they're two different ailments). Wheat, being the staple grain may well be the most widely used grain as it's found in chapatis, pooris, paranthas, baked items like bread, pasta, and cookies. Reading labels and having a keen eye is helpful to manage this allergy. Replace traditional flour with oats, almond flour, tapioca, rice flour in your baked goods, or use a variety of flours in combination like gram flour, ragi flour, bajra flour, buckwheat flour, or amaranth flour alternatively.
2. Milk allergy/ Lactose intolerance
Milk can trigger allergy because of the presence of a sugar known as lactose. Those who have lactose intolerance can try almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cashew milk, and oat milk. They are equally nutritious as dairy milk and can act as a healthy alternative and at times can offer you even better nutrients.
3. Eggs allergy
Few people can be allergic to the proteins present in eggs and can have allergic responses such as hives, rashes, or respiratory problems minutes after eating egg or egg-based products. An alternative for eggs in case of baking could be mashed potatoes or apple puree (applesauce). They give the same results and can be used as excellent binders while baking. While other egg substitutes in terms of protein can be whole could be soy products, meat, fish and dairy product, lentils, and legumes.
4. Peanut allergy
The most familiar and commonly found allergy is of peanuts. Peanut butter has a healthy alternative as almond butter. Almond butter has more or less the same vital health benefits and it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Sunflower seed butter can also be a rewarding substitute.
5. Soy allergy
Soybeans are extremely protein-rich with high fiber and vitamin content. A soy allergy should not stop you from getting the desired nutrients, especially proteins. Lentils are full, of protein and rich in other nutrients. Chickpeas, kidney beans, red beans, and black beans can also be used as a replacement for soybeans.
6. Tree nut allergy
While cashews, hazelnuts, pine nuts, are among tree nuts group and should be avoided if you are tree-nut intolerant. Tree nuts are wholesome and are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. But, if you are tree-nut allergic, seeds can be a great substitute. Sunflower seeds lower the risk of heart disease and with the added benefit of anti-inflammatory properties. Pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, melon seeds, and chia seeds can be highly nutritive and a great source of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Having a food allergy should not mean that your diet will lack a few nutrients that are essential for the growth and functioning of the body. Attaining a balanced and nourishing diet while having food allergies might sound challenging but it isn't impossible.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
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