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Food Allergies

Food Allergies

Food allergies occur when the immune system mistakenly believes that something you eat is harmful to your body. In an attempt to “protect” the body, the immune system makes IgE antibodies against the food. These antibodies cause cells called mast cells (a type of allergic cell) to release certain chemicals into the bloodstream.

One such chemical is histamine, which acts on the eyes, nose, skin and/or digestive tract, causing the symptoms of allergic reactions.

As soon as the body makes antibodies against a certain food, these antibodies recognize it instantly. And every time a person ingests that type of food again, his or her body releases his or her own into the bloodstream, the allergic symptoms reappear. In severe food allergies, an allergic reaction can occur even when the affected person touches or inhales particles of the allergenic food.

Are food allergies hereditary?

Whether or not a person develops an allergy is partly influenced by heredity. For example, if both parents have conditions of allergic origin (such as eczema), the child will have a 40-60% chance of developing an allergy, but not necessarily a food allergy.

About the reactions

Some allergic reactions are very mild and only affect one system of the body, such as the appearance of hives on the skin, while more severe reactions affect more than one system. Most reactions last less than a day and can affect any of the following four systems:


Skin reactions are the most common type of allergic reaction to a food. They may take the form of red spots or hives associated with itching (hives), eczema, redness, and swelling on the face and/or around the mouth.

Digestive system

Symptoms may take the form of cramping, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Respiratory system

Symptoms can range from runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and watery eyes to asthma attacks associated with episodes of coughing, wheezing (“whistling” when breathing).

Cardiovascular system

Those affected may experience dizziness and/or fainting.

Most reactions occur shortly after eating the allergenic food. However, everyone is different, so even though two people have peanut allergies, their allergic reactions may differ considerably. And even the same person may have different allergic reactions to the same food, depending on factors such as the amount of food they have been exposed to.

Food allergy or food intolerance?

People often confuse food allergies with food intolerance (such as lactose intolerance). But food intolerance does not involve the immune system. In fact, it occurs because of a problem digesting or breaking down certain substances. The symptoms of food intolerance are not as dangerous as those of food allergies.

Severe reactions

When a person has a severe allergic reaction that affects more than one system, this condition is called anaphylaxis. These are sudden, life-threatening allergic reactions. In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, anaphylaxis can cause inflammation of the airways, severe breathing difficulties, drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and, in some cases, even death.

Because food allergies can be severe, people who think they might be allergic to a certain food should see their doctor. It may be tempting to think that it is enough not to eat the food in question, but the allergens may be hidden in unexpected places and, without a doctor’s diagnosis, a person may not know exactly what to avoid.

What do doctors do?

Your doctor will study the possibility that you may have some other condition that could be causing your symptoms. For example, if you have diarrhea after drinking milk, your pediatrician will test to see if lactose intolerance may be the cause of your symptoms rather than a food allergy. Another condition whose symptoms may resemble those of food allergies is celiac disease. People affected by this disease do not tolerate gluten (a protein found in wheat and other cereals).

If your doctor thinks you have a food allergy, he or she will most likely refer you to an allergist (an allergy specialist). The allergist will ask you questions and do a physical exam (where, for example, he or she will listen to your lungs). He or she may also give you some tests to help diagnose your problem.

The most commonly used allergy test is a skin test. A doctor or nurse will superficially scrape your skin (usually the skin on your forearm or back) after placing a small amount of extract and then wait a few minutes to see if any reactions appear. Allergologists may also perform other tests, such as blood tests. This test can detect the presence of antibodies in the blood to a certain food, which is indicative of immune system sensitivity to that food.

If you have a food allergy, you will need to work with your allergist to develop a treatment plan tailored to your particular needs. You should also work with your child to develop an allergy action plan to use in an emergency; you should keep a copy of your action plan in your study centre to avoid severe allergic reactions and to guide you if you do develop them.

Food allergies cannot be cured (although they may remit on their own over time) and the only real way to treat them is to avoid the food in question. Fortunately, doctors can prescribe medication to help alleviate allergic symptoms if they do occur and even to save a person’s life if they develop a severe reaction.

Medications to treat food allergies

Antihistamines can treat isolated symptoms, such as hives, runny nose or abdominal pain, typical of mild allergic reactions.

Are food allergies dangerous?

Food allergies are dangerous, as in some cases they can lead to death after anaphylactic reactions.

Symptoms related to the severity of the allergic reaction are:

Choking sensation, hoarseness, tightness in the throat, difficulty swallowing

Inspiratory beeping or wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest

Itching, general tingling sensation in hands, feet, neck and throat

These symptoms can occur immediately and their evolution can be very rapid from minutes of ingestion to 1 hour, constituting a medical emergency and requiring immediate treatment with adrenaline.

What are the most common allergies?

The most common allergies are those that appear in early childhood when solid foods are first incorporated into the diet after breastfeeding.

Before one year of age, cow’s milk and egg allergies can often be seen.

Between 1 and 2 years of age, allergies to soybeans, cereals and fish can occur.

Allergies to fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts and dried fruit, among others, are more frequent in people over 2 years of age.

In general, food allergies are lifelong, in some cases such as allergies to eggs or cow’s milk may disappear between the ages of 2 to 4 years.

What are the foods that can cause allergy?

The proteins in cow’s milk

Casein, rennet casein, caseinates, lacto albumin, lactulose. They normally appear in the first year of life.

Egg protein

Ovalbumin is frequently used in the food and bakery industry as an additive, preservative, stabilizer, food coloring, artificial flavors, in baking, pasta, ice cream, meringues, marzipan, chocolates, nougat, etc.

They are usually part of excipients or diluents in preparations such as medicines.

Vaccines (measles, mumps, rubella) can also be prepared by growing the viruses in chicken embryo cultures.

Egg allergy is often associated with cow’s milk protein allergy.

Nuts and dried fruit

Peanuts, nuts, almonds, oils or derivatives such as butter or peanut flours. African Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, North American and Mexican cuisine uses peanut derivatives such as nuts, oils, flours, butter and seasonings.

Fish proteins

Allergies are common in children and adults. Allergy to white fish (hake, sole, sea bream, trout, etc.) is more frequent than blue fish (sea bream, salmon, sardine, anchovy, etc.). Vapors from cooking or frying fish may cause allergies by inhalation.

Crustacean shellfish such as lobster, prawn, Norway lobster, barnacles, and molluscs such as mussels, clams, oysters, squid, cuttlefish, octopus, and snails can cause severe allergic reactions. Products that are released from cooking may also cause allergy by inhalation.

Soya allergy is relatively common

Cereals such as wheat, oats, barley, rye. Allergy occurs in a common compound called gluten and this allergic disease is celiac disease.

Fruits such as peach and rosaceae (apricot, nectarine, cherry, plum, strawberry, pear, apple), Elkiwi, banana or pineapple may also be responsible for allergies.

Legumes such as lentils or chickpeas can cause allergies. Allergies to fruits, nuts and vegetables often coexist.

Additives such as sulphites, nitrites, glutamate, etc., which function as preservatives, sweeteners, flavourings, dyes, emulsifiers and stabilisers, are present on food labels under the letter E, may be responsible for food allergies or may cause the release of inflammatory substances causing abdominal cramps, skin rashes, bronchial obstruction of non-allergic origin, but indistinguishable from allergic reactions.

What steps can I take to avoid food allergies?

Read all labels on canned and preserved foods before using them in meals.
Read the medication and vaccine package inserts in the excipient sections.
The information contained on this Website should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your Medical Physician. There may be variations in treatment that your Physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

SeaBear Smokehouse

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Healthy raspberry pancakes

Pancakes with raspberries and cream, raspberry nectarine jam

Healthy pancakes ?it’s over the top good idea for your breakfast. Simple , healthy and so yummy.

So let’s prepare it :

Ingredients :

90 g of complete rice flour

1 teaspoon of honey

1 pinch of salt

½ teaspoon baking soda (2.5 ml)

1 egg

1 tablespoon (15ml) of oil

125g whole yogurt

1 tablespoon of oil or melted butter to grease the pan

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

natural fresh cheese

Preparation :

In a large bowl, combine the “dry ingredients”: rice flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.

In a medium bowl, mix the “wet ingredients”: egg, oil, honey and yoghurt.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula.

The dough will look very thick.

Heat a small skillet under a medium-low heat.

Lightly oil the pan.

In the pan, put a large tablespoon of dough, spread it out and flatten itslightly with the back of the spoon.

Cook until golden brown each side, just under 2 minutes.

Serve with raspberry jam and natural fresh cheese.

Do You Dream In Chocolate?
Check out this great video

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Food Vacations

How can Food Vacations benefit you?

One thing that makes or breaks a vacation is food. You may have visited a place and found out that food was bad; the chances of your returning in this destination are slim. The experience may have been so bad that you fell ill. This may mark the end of your vacation, you develop a phobia and you begin to dread travelling, or even resort to carrying your own food and drinks to avoid nasty experiences. However, a great experience with food will not only make you love a given destination but will also influence the way you feel about vacations.

Sample new and great tastes
Ever taken a food vacation? It’s an experience that allows you not only to sample what lies beyond the neighborhood but also learn more about different types of food. You may be a person whose schedule does not allow you to venture away from cities and towns, so fast and junk foods form the biggest part of your diet. If you fall in this category a food vacation will not only give you a glimpse of what you are missing but also teach you valuable lessons on healthy feeding.

Learn about different cuisines
A food vacation, apart from providing an avenue to learn and sample different types of foods also helps you discover different cuisines. Your schedule and lifestyle may have restricted you to the same types of foods. You have eaten them religiously with no changes, as a foodie; you’ve missed a lot. There is a whole lot of variety, and many tastes that you could not have imagined. There are cuisines, foods and drinks that you may not have had a chance to taste if you only visit where experts can prepare sumptuous meals. You will also have a chance to see how foods that you have eaten for years can be enjoyed differently. You may have eaten the same food for ages and have developed a dislike for them. When you take a food vacation, you will get a glimpse of how people on the other end of the country, town or globe consume them. Here you will most likely develop an appetite for the foods which you had struck out of your diet list. A food vacation opens your eyes and allows you to see some things differently and then learn to appreciate what the world has to offer.

SeaBear Smokehouse

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Understanding Gluten


What are the Health Risks Associated with Gluten?

Gluten is not healthy, hence, more and more people are trying to rid their diets of foods containing gluten. But what’s so wrong with foods containing gluten? Why should you care about the percentage of your gluten intake? Below is a list of medical conditions that are associated with a heavy gluten diet.

Celiac Disease

Gluten is a protein element that is found in common cereals such as barley, wheat, rye, and spelt. Gluten contain two proteins: glutenin and gliadin. Many people react negatively to gliadin. Celiac disease is a condition in which the immune system attacks the gliadin protein.

Gluten Sensitivity

About 40% of humans carry with them HLA-DQ2 & HLA-DQ8 genes. These genes make them sensitive to foods with gluten and in some cases, can cause diseases such as a painful bloated stomach, diarrhea, or fatigue and bone/joints pain.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Inflamed intestines from gluten foods causes stool inconsistency, pain and fatigue.

Brain Disorders

Gluten-sensitive idiopathic neuropathy is a neurological disease whose cause is unknown, but whose risk is markedly higher in people with gluten-filled diets.


Gluten found in wheat is addictive due to presence of small proteins known as gluten exorphins. The unnatural cravings may worsen celiac disease or lead to overeating, which causes obesity.

Food Distribution Chart

Category Foods
Foods With Gluten (Avoid these foods if you are on gluten-free diet). Biscuits, Beer, Bread, Cakes


Cereals (except a few from the good list below), Chocolate bars, Cookies, Corned beef, Couscous, Crackers, Donuts, Gravies, Malt beverages e.g. whiskey, Malt vinegar, Monosodium glutamate, Muffins, Pasta, Pastries, Pies, Pretzels, Pizza, Sauces, Sausages, Salami, Sauces – many have wheat as a thickener, Soups – many have wheat as a thickener, and Wheat flour.


Foods Without Gluten
Vegetables, Legumes and Vegetables without Gluten Artichoke, Asparagus, Avocado, Bell peppers, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Chickpeas, Coconut, Collards, Cucumber, Eggplant / aubergine. Garlic (avoid if on FODMAP diet), Ginger, Green beans, Kale, Leek, Lemon, Lentils, Lettuce, Limes, Mushrooms, Olives, Onions (avoid if on FODMAP diet), Pak choi / bok choy, Parsley, Pineapple, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Sauerkraut, Scallions, Shallots, Soya beans, Spinach, Squash, Tomato, Turnip, Watercress and Zucchini / courgettes.



Meats, Poultry, Fish and Meat Free Substitutes. Make sure these foods are neither breaded nor buttered.



Beef, Cod, Chicken, Cold cuts, Duck, Fish Lamb, Mincemeat, Pork. Quorn mince, Salmon, Shellfish and mollusks, Trout and Turkey.



Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes Gluten-free bread e.g. Genius bread,  Udi’s gluten-free bread, Gluten-free cereals, Gluten-free oats, Amaranth, Arrowroot, Beans, Buckwheat groats or Kasha, Cassava, Chia, Corn or maize, Corn Flakes, Flax, Gluten-free oats, Granola, Millet, Nuts, Nut flours, Porridge oats, Potato, Quinoa, Rice, Rice Krispies and Seeds.
Condiments, Dips, Desserts, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads



Coconut oil, French mustard, Ground pepper, Honey, Horseradish, Jam, Jellies, Olive oil, Rice pudding, Salsa, Salt, Sesame oil, Sorbet, Syrup and Tapioca pudding.



Drinks Gluten free beer, Almond milk, Fruit juices


Potato vodka, Rum, Sodas or fizzy drinks and Wine.


Dairy Foods Butter, Cheese (but not bleu cheese), Cream, Eggs, Milk, Sour cream, and Yogurt.



Cooking ingredients, herbs and Spices

Gluten-free flour, Baking powder, Bicarbonate soda, Corn flour, Cream of tartar, Potato flour, Rice flour, Soya flour, Herbs, and Spices

Most people worry about what may become of their nutrition when they give up their wheat diet. The above food distribution chart shows you the foods to give up, but also gives you a wide array of other foods that you can develop a menu from. Whatever else you do, make sure that your new diet is properly balanced so as to ward off other diseases that may crop up due to poor nutrition.