Given that food is one of the few truly great things in life, finding out you have a food allergy can be understandingly painful to deal with. While rest of the world chows down on mouth-watering dishes that leave you writhing with stomach pain or have you breaking out in hives, you’re stuck with having to either politely refuse or ask for an exact ingredient breakdown.
Strangely enough, the world of food allergies is not as lonely as you thought. For roughly 15 million Americans suffering from food allergies, food goes hand-in-hand with some very frightening reactions, some of which could even be life-threatening.1
The bad news is that there is no way to completely cure a food allergy. The good news? We have a list of natural home remedies to help you manage your symptoms when things go out of hand. Start taking notes!
1. Avoid The Following Inflammation Triggers
Certain foods can set off your body’s immune response alarm and result in inflammation. This further weakens your immunity and makes you all the more susceptible to dangerous reactions to your allergy. Therefore, it’s no rocket science that you need to keep these foods out of your plate no matter what the occasion is. Some of these are as follows:
- Packaged/processed foods: they may be loaded with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients like soy, canola, corn, and vegetable oil that are the worst offenders when it comes to food allergies.2 Because the ingredients are hardly listed clearly, it becomes even more difficult to decipher these foods and stay away from them.
- Artificial flavorings: used mainly in processed and packaged foods, these can also have a negative impact on one’s health. Research has proved that cochineal extract (which is obtained from the scale of insects and is used to dye food red) has the potential to trigger allergic reactions and asthma.3
- Sugar: Notorious for promoting bad bacterial growth, sugar can further weaken your immunity and trigger inflammation. This worsens food allergy symptoms and can even limit your body’s ability to tolerate foods normally.
- Gluten: this is a common allergy trigger even in people without celiac disease or wheat allergy. Studies show that gluten is often blamed for triggering symptoms in 20 to 45 percent of adults who self-report food hypersensitivity, while other research shows that patients report an improvement from both gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal symptoms, after going on a gluten-free diet.4 5
2. Dodge These Common Allergen Triggers
Food allergies are a result of the body recognizing a single component within the food (such as egg proteins in eggs or milk proteins in cow’s milk) as a foreign invader and starting a battle to ward off this invader. This involves the release of allergen-fighting chemicals like histamine which triggers a whole set of scary symptoms.
Although any and every food has the potential to trigger an allergic reaction, it would still be helpful to be aware of the most common foods that are notorious for causing a fully blown-out food allergy. Here’s a list6:
- Cow’s milk
- Tree nuts
3. Eat A Diet That’s Rich In Anti-Allergic Foods
Just as there are certain foods that are associated with causing food allergies, there are also those that fight inflammation and help you strengthen your immune system. Infuse your diet with the following allergy-fighting foods to help you deal with your symptoms.
- Green leafy veggies: eat plenty of kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, arugula, and watercress to give your body a powerful dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This will speed up your body’s detoxification process and enhance your immunity to give you better fighting power when it comes to those food allergens.7
- Probiotics: fermented foods like miso, kombucha, raw cheese, yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut are great for encouraging gut health and a super strong immunity. This will help bring down your body’s oversensitivity to food triggers that lead to allergic reactions.8
- Seeds: flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds are loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Make this delicious addition to your diet and you’re basically building yourself an armor against all that inflammation. Plus, you also benefit from a whole range of nutrients like magnesium, selenium, magnesium, and protein. Also, seeds are a great form of dietary fiber. The more you eat, the healthier your gut gets!9
- Almond butter: this makes the perfect substitute for peanut butter for those who are allergic to peanuts. High in inflammation-reducing healthy fats, protective Almonds are low in saturated fatty acids, rich in unsaturated fatty acids, phytosterol antioxidants, trace minerals like magnesium, and vitamins like riboflavin, almonds make for the perfect immunity booster.
- Coconut milk: got a milk allergy? No problem! Substitute it with coconut milk; it’s 100 percent free of soy, lactose, dairy, and sugar and is, therefore, completely safe for you to drink!
- Bone broth: when it comes to restoring your immunity and intestinal health, bone broth is one of the best foods you can have. Enriched with essential amino acids and minerals that are vital for repair and regeneration, your body’s immunity will go into overdrive and keep inflammation at bay.
- Breast milk: for infants with food allergies, breast milk is godsent. According to studies, allergen-specific antibodies are transmitted from the mother to the offspring via breast milk while other research shows that breastfeeding women who ate a diet rich in eggs, peanuts, and shellfish during their pregnancy will protect their babies against developing allergies from these foods.10 11
4. Try Going On An Elimination Diet
Pinpointing the dietary offenders that are responsible for triggering your allergy can be difficult, so you’ll need to put in a little effort in doing some detective work. The best way to do this is to follow an elimination diet.
This is a short-term eating plan that crosses out various foods that may be causing you digestive reactions and allergies, and then re-introduces foods one at a time. This helps to accurately determine which foods are well-tolerated by the body and which ones aren’t, and that way, you can get yourself a true treatment for your food allergy problems.
5. Give These Supplements A Shot
Food allergy treatments often involve ingesting supplements that help restore your immunity, such as:
- Probiotics: that promote the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system, and thus, keeps digestive problems at bay.
- Digestive enzymes: these give your body a little extra help in breaking down stubborn food matter. Once again, this helps prevent incomplete digestion, which is very often a cause for food allergies.
- Vitamin B5: that boosts immune function and promotes adrenal function
6. Embrace The Power Of Essential Oils
Certain essential oils make for very powerful food allergy treatments. You could try the following:
- Peppermint essential oil: peppermint oil helps fight inflammation and calms an explosive digestive tract. Plus, it’s very helpful in relieving other food allergy symptoms such as itching and headaches. Take 1-2 drops internally with a glass of water or apply topically to the temples, abdomen or bottoms of the feet.
- Basil essential oil: this oil works wonders in not only bringing down inflammation but also in boosting adrenal function and detoxifying the body against harmful viruses and bacteria.
- Eucalyptus essential oil: this oil is very helpful in providing respiratory relief since it’s so effective in opening up the airways. This also helps boost circulation, another factor that plays an important role in fighting allergic reactions.
7. Try Some Activated Charcoal
Charcoal is nothing but burnt organic matter. It’s usually procured from peat, wood, or coconut shells. When exposed to certain gases at very high temperatures through a special process, charcoal becomes activated charcoal. This process of “activation” makes the charcoal extremely porous and absorbent and helps to bind or absorb anything that comes in contact with it.
It is this very property of activated charcoal that makes it such an effective cure for food allergy symptoms. The substance easily binds itself to the allergy-causing proteins your body finds so hard to break down. Once the problem protein is bound to the activated charcoal, it can easily pass through the digestive tract without causing any further problems.
Activated charcoal is easily available over-the-counter, suspended either in plain water or in a sweetened solution. You’d need to take a fairly large dose to experience an improvement in your symptoms and although 60 grams of activated charcoal is usually safe for most adults, we recommend you consulting your doctor for a dosage amount that’s right for you.
|↑1||Food Allergy 101/ Facts and Statistics. Food Allergy Research & Education.|
|↑2||Taylor, Steve L., and Joseph L. Baumert. “Worldwide food allergy labeling and detection of allergens in processed foods.” In Food allergy: Molecular basis and clinical practice, vol. 101, pp. 227-234. Karger Publishers, 2015.|
|↑3||Tabar, A. I., S. Acero, C. Arregui, M. Urdánoz, and S. Quirce. “Asthma and allergy due to carmine dye.” In Anales del sistema sanitario de Navarra, vol. 26, pp. 65-73. 2003.|
|↑4||Biesiekierski, Jessica R., and Julie Iven. “Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity: piecing the puzzle together.” United European gastroenterology journal 3, no. 2 (2015): 160-165.|
|↑5||Mansueto, Pasquale, Aurelio Seidita, Alberto D’Alcamo, and Antonio Carroccio. “Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: literature review.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 33, no. 1 (2014): 39-54.|
|↑6||Katta, Rajani, and Megan Schlichte. “Diet and dermatitis: food triggers.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology 7, no. 3 (2014): 30.|
|↑7||Guan, Yong-Song, and Qing He. “Plants consumption and liver health.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2015 (2015).|
|↑8||Vieira, Angelica Thomaz, Mauro Martins Teixeira, and Flaviano dos Santos Martins. “The role of probiotics and prebiotics in inducing gut immunity.” Frontiers in immunology 4 (2013): 445.|
|↑9||Ros, Emilio. “Health benefits of nut consumption.” Nutrients 2, no. 7 (2010): 652-682.|
|↑10||Hochwallner, Heidrun, Johan Alm, Christian Lupinek, Catharina Johansson, Axel Mie, Annika Scheynius, and Rudolf Valenta. “Transmission of allergen-specific IgG and IgE from maternal blood into breast milk visualized with microarray technology.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 134, no. 5 (2014): 1213-1215.|
|↑11||Ohsaki, Asa, Nicholas Venturelli, Tess M. Buccigrosso, Stavroula K. Osganian, John Lee, Richard S. Blumberg, and Michiko K. Oyoshi. “Maternal IgG immune complexes induce food allergen–specific tolerance in offspring.” Journal of Experimental Medicine (2017): jem-20171163.|