We’ve heard the expression “watch what you eat,” normally in reference to healthy dieting. What about allergies, though? Before your next meal, check out these five foods you may be allergic to without realizing it.
According to the Mayo Clinic, food allergies are caused by the immune system recognizing certain foods as dangerous and fighting them by releasing antibodies. These antibodies neutralize the food substance, and the next time the food is consumed, the body releases chemicals such as histamines into your bloodstream, creating allergy symptoms.
Around eight percent of children suffer from food allergies, and three to four percent of the adult population does as well, said Dr. Grace Peace Yu, an allergist and immunologist, in a video for Healthline.
Food allergies have varying degrees of severity, causing reactions ranging from breaking out into a cold sweat to digestion problems to difficulty breathing, to, most dangerous of all, anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly reaction that that can cause symptoms like a serious rash, facial swelling, dangerously low blood pressure, and the closing of the throat.
Obviously, if you’re severely allergic to a food item, you probably already know it, but in more minor cases, you might be allergic to certain foods without even realizing what’s going on.
“The most important thing you can do when you have a food allergy is practice strict avoidance from what you’re allergic to,” adds Dr. Yu.
Take a look through this slideshow to find out if you might be allergic to certain foods without even realizing it.