She's Crushing It

5 Common Health Food Allergies And How To Make Tasty Food Swaps

We all know someone who is allergic to any one of these foods such as; nuts, eggs, dairy, oats, soy, and fish.  Even though these are named as some of the most common allergies in the world it is unfortunate that they’re also found to be commonly used in health food recipes.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at the healthy food selections in the store and seen them packed with nuts, soy, or oats. And so when I’m cooking at home, lots of my recipes readily contain nuts, eggs, and sometimes fish.

Of course, these foods are loaded with proteins, healthy fats, omegas, and vitamins which we need to keep our bodies operating healthily. But, if you’re one of the people whose body rejects these foods, either with intolerances or allergies, then they’re obviously bad for your health.

So, how can you enjoy health foods and avoid these allergens?

You’ll find out now …

Find Out If You Have An Allergy

Image by Анастасия Гепп

If you’re on this page, you either have an allergy to a popular health food, know someone who does, or suspect you have an allergy. If you’re part of the latter group, how do you know if you have an allergy?

Generally, symptoms of food allergies include wheezing, breathing difficulties, headaches, a painful throat, tingling lips, skin rashes or eczema, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, and gas.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms after eating a certain food? If so, you should visit your local GP and discuss options of intolerance’s and allergies to your suspected foods. They can run proper tests to check.

It’s important to check with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms after eating a certain food. Allergies can seriously damage your body in the long term. Don’t be brave or stubborn. There’s plenty of ways to avoid foods and live a healthy life without them. No matter how tasty it is, it’s not worth any long term problems.

5 Common Health Allergies (And How To Make Healthy Swaps)

We’re going to look at five common health food allergies and what foods you can swap them with to get equal nutritional value.  If you have a specific health food allergy, scroll through to find your food poison and see what great swaps you can make you reignite your kitchen.

1. Nuts

If you can’t eat nuts, you probably won’t be able to eat most of the shop-bought healthy snacks. It’s in granola, protein and energy bars or balls, crunchy granola bars and more.

Nuts are used in health items because they contain protein, fibre, healthy fats, and are also good for your skin and heart. They’re good for your brain, and can help with weight loss and diet balance. 

To get all the health benefits without eating nuts, swap nuts for pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds.

These not only give you the proteins you need (pumpkin seeds have a whole 8 grams of protein per ounce of seeds!), but also important omega-6 fats and fibres. So, get busy making your own energy/protein balls and your own granola with your seed swaps with our recipes below- things taste better homemade, anyway!

If it’s the nut butter that’s bothering you in recipes, swap it for tahini. Made from sesame seeds, they contain all the benefits of the seed swaps we discussed in the paragraph above. Tahini contains good fats, plenty of protein (5g per 2 tbsp), and is said to be good for heart and cancer protection.

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera juice seems to be sold in every health food store or market, am I right? It’s become a popular drink to clear up the system, treat constipation, provide vitamin C, keep you extra hydrated (I’m not sure how it can be better than water!), control blood levels, and protect against stomach ulcers.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova

Aloe vera can also be used externally. You can buy aloe vera soaps, creams, gels, and in countless more products. Aloe vera is good for skin troubles, like burns, rashes, eczema, and for calming inflammation. Many people even keep the plant in their home and use the raw form on their skin. So, if you’re allergic to aloe, make sure to keep an eye on your skin care products, too.

If you can’t drink aloe, there are some drinks and juices you can make that will give you similar benefits.

Adding cucumber and fruits to your water will greatly improve the hydration levels of your water AND add vitamins and nutrients to it. If you thought water was hydrating and thirst quenching enough, try soaking cucumber and lemon in it overnight for an extra hydrating burst of Vitamin C and energy. For improved antioxidants and vitamins, add berries.

To treat constipation, drink more water and eat foods with high fibre contents, particularly dried fruits (prunes) and bananas. Try to avoid dairy, which may be causing more constipation due to intolerance.

For stomach ulcer prevention, reduce your caffeine and alcohol consumption, and regularly eat yogurt (with the active cultures) and foods like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Combine all of these benefits together in one beverage: make a smoothie with a bit of everything!

3. Eggs

Eggs are among the top nutritious foods on the planet. They contain multiple vitamins, including A, B5, B12, and B2, healthy fats, and plenty of protein. 

They raise good cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, contain important antioxidants for eye health, and are filling without containing loads of calories, which also helps with weight loss.

Eggs are used in many foods. If you’re allergic to them, they may seem difficult to swap.

However, it’s easier than you think with these great swaps:

Banana:

Best used for baking sweet things, like cakes, fruit loaf, muffins, cookies, and pancakes. Swap 1 egg with ½-1 mashed banana (depending on the size of the banana).

Flax seed:

Best used for baking with whole grains. Swap 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed, mixed well with 3 tablespoons of water (allow it to rest).

Apple sauce:

Best used for baking things with a sweet, fruity tang (like pancakes, muffins, and fruit loaves). Swap 1 egg for ¼ cup of applesauce (or any fruit puree).

Tofu:

For foods like quiche, custard, and omelete, swap 1 egg for ¼ cup of silken tofu, pureed.
For foods like scrambled “eggs” or in salad, swap 1 egg with ¼ cup of firm tofu, crumbled.

Vegetable oil:

This is one of the older food swaps. Eight years ago, I baked a chocolate cake with a friend, using this swap. The cake was beautifully moist and spongy and you couldn’t tell the egg was missing. (I even preferred the taste!) Use ¼ cup of vegetable oil to replace one egg.

4. Soy

Soy, a perfect swap for dairy if you’re vegan or allergic to dairy. But, what if you’re allergic to soy?

Image by Katja S. Verhoeven

Soy contains nutritional benefits, including a high protein content and help with heart health. It also contains needed omega-3 fats, boosts you fibre intake, is naturally cholesterol free, and contains a range of vitamins and minerals.

It’s no surprise, then, that it’s regularly used in a wide range of health foods. You can buy it as milk, tofu, meat alternatives, dairy free chocolate, in health bars and protein balls, in energy balls, in granolas, and more.

In this case, you’ll have to do a few clever swaps with home cooking.

You can swap soy milk for almond milk (if you’re fine with nuts), rice milk, oat milk (if you can have oats), and coconut milk. You can find also yoghurts made with almond or coconut milk.

For meat alternatives (if you’re vegetarian or vegan), use beans. Make your own burger patties and veggie bites by mixing beans and lentils with different vegetables and herbs. The burger patties work best with things chopped up really small, and the bites will work best blended. They’re beautiful.

Tofu and soy sauce will be the hardest for you to replace. I was a bit stuck here but saw this recipe for making ‘tofu’ out of chickpeas: Full recipe > HERE<

As for soy sauce, coconut amino (made from fermented coconut sap) is a good alternative, with the flavour you’ll love in stir fries. It even contains less sodium!

5. Oats

Many top healthy ‘carb’ foods, like granola, contain oats. They have a high nutritious value and contain good carb and fibre sources. They’re high in manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and important zinc and iron levels.

They’re also rich in antioxidants, can lower cholesterol levels, and have a high glycemic index, which keeps you fuller for longer (controlling blood sugar levels and aiding with weight control).

If you’re allergic to oats or live gluten free, you’ll be pleased to know that you can embrace high nutrition in forms other than oats. To continue enjoying muesli, granola, healthy muffins, porridge and more, check out these brilliant swaps.

Quinoa

High in amino acids and protein, the quinoa seed is a top oat swap. You can buy them in seed form in three different colours, or as flakes (which cook quicker). It has a fluffy texture, which makes it perfect to mix with yoghurt or milk and different fruits and coconut flakes for a hearty muesli-style breakfast. Add it to your baking for some beautiful oat-free and gluten-free cakes and cookies! See below for some quinoa baking you never would have thought of.

Buckwheat

For those of you on a gluten free diet, don’t worry. Buckwheat isn’t a type of wheat, and is gluten free. It’s a fruit seed that is perfect to use in baking, flours, and breakfasts. High in magnesium and other important nutrients, like fibres, proteins, and lignans, they’re a wise oat swap. Buy the flour to use in baking (great for cookies, pastries, and breads), or buy in groat form and enjoy it for breakfast in place of granola or porridge.

If You Suffer From Allergies, Try A Detox To Clear Your System

Image by marijana1

If you suffer from any kind of allergy, particularly from food allergies, your body may be feeling sore, uneasy and sluggish. Especially after accidentally eating something you’re allergic, or you’ve only just found out you’re allergic to something, the body will definitely be suffering.

Being allergic to something means your body considers it an enemy. You’ll want to eliminate it straight away. To clear up your body and remove some of the effects of the toxins from the allergies, doing a detox is one of the best remedies.

I can promise you, if you do a detox, you’ll feel lighter, more energetic, less sluggish, your immune system will work better, and you may even lose a little bit of weight in the process.

To give your body the detox boost it needs to clear the system from allergens, check out my detox post > here, to give yourself that new burst of life and free yourself from the weight of the side effects of your allergy.

Key Takeaways

As you’ve read so much, let’s recap to remind you of the key points:

  1. Food allergies are serious. If you think you have one, it’s important to go to the doctor. Allergies can cause short, medium, and long term damage- it’s not worth the risk.
  2. Health food is popular and easy to access in shops and cafes. Eggs, nuts, soy, oats, and aloe vera are common health food allergies.
  3. Nuts- high in protein, fibre, and healthy fats. Used in granola, salads, baking. Swap with seeds.
  4. Aloe vera- good for hydration, provides Vitamin C, protects against stomach ulcers and constipation. Used in juices, smoothies, and skin care items. Swap with cucumber and fruit infused water, yoghurt, and kale.
  5. Eggs- high in protein and packed with vitamins and healthy fats. Used in baking, omelets, and salads. Swap with mashed banana, fruit puree, tofu, flaxseed, and vegetable oil.
  6. Soy- high in protein, omega-3 fats, and minerals and vitamins. Used in milk, yoghurts, baking, soy sauce, and tofu. Swap with beans, pulses, coconut aminos (for sauce), and milks made from coconut, almond, rice, or oats (subject to other allergies).
  7. Oats- high in fibre, antioxidants, and have a high glycemic index. Used in baking, and breakfast and snack items. Swap with quinoa and buckwheat.
  8. If you suffer from an allergy, give your body a detox boost. This will help you to relieve the body of any residue allergic symptoms.

Finally, experiment with a range of different health food swaps until you find all of your favourites. There are far more health foods out there than you may realise. Enjoy the foods you CAN eat!

There’s a free handy PDF you can download from the menu above … check that out too for 30 Energy Boosting Snacks.

Get Involved – Tell Us Your Great Swaps

Have you got any great swaps for any of the above mentioned health food allergies? Or any food swaps for any health food allergies I haven’t mentioned today?

Allergies are common, so let’s help each other out with all our favourite food swaps and recipes to increase the variety we can enjoy.

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