Everyday Foods That Can Cause Allergic Reactions

Jennifer Ezeokoli
Jennifer Ezeokoli
Jennifer is a food enthusiast, Writer/Content Creator. Driven by passion, as the Head of content for African Food Network, she strives to curate exciting, fun, informative and functional content.
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image source: medicalnewstoday

Allergic reactions are mainly attributed to genes. They are inherited from family members and passed on from generations to other generations. Certain things cause people to exhibit allergies, such things include;

  • Insect bites
  • Certain medications
  • Certain plants
  • Pet dander
  • Certain foods

More commonly, people show higher allergic reactions for food.

An allergic reaction occurs when cells in the immune system interpret a foreign substance as harmful. The immune system reacts harshly to this foreign substance and produces a chemical called Histamine. This chemical causes allergy symptoms such as inflammation, sneezing and coughing. Some people show mild allergic reactions and this is usually treated with home medication. However, in some cases, people show chronic allergic reactions and such people need treatment from a medical professional.

When trying to avoid allergic reactions, there are certain food that should be avoided. Such foods have been known to cause allergic reactions. For people who have food allergy, exposure to even small amounts of the problem food can trigger an allergic reaction. Symptoms begin to show few minutes after exposure, while in some cases, symptoms start showing after few hours. Symptoms of food allergy include;

  • Swelling of tongue, mouth or face.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Itchy rash
  • Anaphylaxis (in severe cases).

Some common everyday food that can cause allergic reactions are;

  1. EGGS

Egg allergy is more common in childhood and about half of the children who have it, outgrow it by the age of 3. In very few cases, egg allergy can cause anaphylaxis. Three proteins have been attributed to causing egg allergy and they are;

  • Ovomucoid
  • Ovalbumin
  • Conalbumin

Cooking may destroy some of these allergens but not in most cases, so some people react to both cooked eggs and raw eggs.

  1. FISH

Fish allergy often leads to severe reactions, including anaphylaxis. Adults are more likely to have fish allergic reaction than children. This may be because adults eat fish more often than children do. People who are allergic to one type of fish often react to other types of fish. This is because, the allergen in this fishes are similar. Cooking does not destroy fish allergens. In rare cases, people with fish allergy can be allergic to cooked fish but not to raw fish.

  1. MILK

Cow milk allergy is the most common food allergy among children. Only a small amount of milk can trigger an allergic reaction. Milk allergy can be passed to babies through their mother’s breast milk as a result of the dairy products she has eaten. It can also be gotten when babies are fed with cow milk. Most children outgrow milk allergy but one fifth of children who have milk allergy will still be allergic when they become adults. The symptoms of milk allergy are often mild and can affect any part of the body. Milk allergy results in anaphylaxis on rare occasions.


Nuts which are most likely to cause allergic reaction include

  • Walnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashew nuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Brazil nuts

Allergy from tree nuts are usually life long. These nuts can cause anaphylaxis in people who are sensitive. Sometimes, people with allergy from one type of tree nut will also react to other nuts. People with nut allergies are advised to visit their doctor.


Peanut allergy is often life long. Peanuts are one of the most common causes of food allergy and can result in severe reactions including anaphylaxis. The allergens are not destroyed during cooking or roasting. Very tiny amounts of peanuts can cause severe reaction, so coming in contact with even the most little of peanut traces is enough to cause reaction in people that are sensitive. Refined peanut oil is safe for people with peanut allergy because, the proteins that cause the allergy are removed during manufacturing process. Some people who have peanut allergy can also react to other legumes like soybean, green beans, green peas and kidney beans.


Soybean allergy is common in children . Most children outgrow soybean allergy by the age of 2, but occasionally, some people carry it to adulthood. Soybean allergy symptoms are similar to milk allergy symptoms. Some people with soybean allergy might also react to milk. In rare cases, soybean allergy can cause anaphylaxis. Soybean is used as and ingredient in most manufactured food products including baked goods, sweet, drinks, breakfast cereal, seasoned foods, margarine, ice cream, pasta and processed meat. So it important to check food labels to confirm if such foods contain soybean.

  1. WHEAT

The higher population of people who experience wheat allergy are babies. Wheat allergy reactions occur as a result of some protein in the wheat. An example of such protein is Gliadin, which is found in gluten. Because of this, people with wheat allergy are sometimes recommended to eat gluten-free diet.

Variety of other foods can also trigger mild allergic reactions in people. Such food allergy include;

  • Cereal allergy
  • Coconut allergy
  • Fruit and vegetable allergy
  • Meat allergy
  • Spice allergy
  • Rice allergy

Food allergies may progress or get better over time, so anyone suspecting they are allergic to certain food, should consult their doctor

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Jennifer Ezeokoli
Jennifer Ezeokoli
Jennifer is a food enthusiast, Writer/Content Creator. Driven by passion, as the Head of content for African Food Network, she strives to curate exciting, fun, informative and functional content.

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