Allergic to Seafood? Here’s What to Eat Instead
When the words “allergies” and “allergens” come to mind, we usually think of pollen, peanuts, and… bee stings. We rarely think of fish and other types of seafood. Seafood allergies, however, are more common than we think. And, sometimes, they can be fatal. People who are allergic to seafood can now enjoy eating sushi, fish and chips, smoked salmon bagels, and tuna sandwiches safely. Thanks to a new revolutionary product, they don’t have to limit their dietary options.
It is estimated that up to 2% of the global population is allergic to shellfish, whereas the same percentage for fish allergies is estimated at 2.2%. Seafood is one of the most common types of hyperallergenic foods. Along with cow’s milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, and soy, they are responsible for 90% of all food-related allergic reactions. And these reactions can appear at any time, even in adults who have consumed such foods in the past. Usually, when an allergic reaction occurs, it follows the person throughout their lives. That may be an exception for small children who often overgrow their allergies. Also, it is important to note that certain people may react to seafood only when they combine its consumption with a certain activity. For example, a person may consume shellfish and then go for a hike a few minutes later. The strenuous exercise may stimulate the release of mediators such as histamine, which can then cause a severe allergic reaction to the allergens found in shellfish. The same goes with taking certain medications, along with the common allergens.
Although it is a common allergen, seafood is everywhere. There are dedicated restaurants that only serve fish all around the world, whereas, in certain cultures, each meal revolves around seafood. Generally speaking, people are not exactly allergic to seafood but to allergens found in them. A common seafood allergen, for example, is the protein tropomyosin. Certain people’s immune system detects these substances as something harmful and causes an overreaction. It triggers cells to release an antibody known as immunoglobulin to neutralize the allergen, causing a series of uncomfortable symptoms. Your eyes and nose are watery, your skin is itchy, and, in some cases, your throat may become swollen. An extreme allergic reaction, often called anaphylaxis, may compromise breathing, which, obviously, can become fatal.
Food allergy symptoms include:
- atopic dermatitis, hives, or itching
- nasal congestion and watery eyes
- swollen tongue and/or face
- flushing and difficulty breathing
- dizziness and low blood pressure
If you suspect an allergic reaction, you should act fast. They usually appear within 30 minutes after eating but the reaction can sometimes be delayed (e.g. when combined with exercise). Mild reactions that are limited to nasal congestion and itching can be treated at home. Over-the-counter antihistamines may help lessen the symptoms. If you notice swelling and/or inability to breath, you should seek immediate help from the nearest hospital. Anaphylaxis can occur within minutes and can be fatal.
Fish Products for People Who Are Allergic to Seafood
The best way to ensure that you don’t get allergic reactions from seafood, is to avoid it at all costs. Sometimes, even cooking shellfish or other types of seafood close to an allergy-prone individual, may cause a reaction. Reading food labels and informing the people who may cook for you about your allergies, is crucial. Now, let’s focus on the good news: people with seafood allergies can now enjoy eating common seafood dishes safely.
Thanks to the recent developments in food technology, we can produce fish made of plants. Algae extracts and peas are combined to create vegan salmon, tuna, shrimp, and other seafood products. Revo Foods’ first plant-based seafood product, Revo Salmon, is 100% plant-based and allergen-free.
Revo Salmon is:
- delicious and nutritious
- available in multiple European countries