Category Archives: symptoms

Yes, you can be allergic to spices

spices-73770We have written quite a bit about turmeric on the Foodfacts.com blog this week. The trending superfood is so good for you that it is hard not to be obsessed with it. Have you tried making the turmeric tonic recipe we shared, too? It is reportedly an excellent fix for those stubborn spring allergies!

Speaking of allergies…

As we approach the end of Food Allergy Awareness Week, it is only fitting that we discuss certain spices that can cause allergic reactions. Because spices offer a great deal of health benefits, particularly medicinal, many people believe that these wonder foods can do no wrong to the body. With the exception of the side effects of overconsuming them, it is generally thought that these plant-based products are everything nice.

The bad thing is, allergic reactions to spices are real; the good thing is, these reactions are rare. Studies have shown that less than five percent of all adults with food allergies suffer from reactions to spices – whether these plants are fresh or dried, and ground, toasted or processed.

Here are some of the most common spices that cause food allergy.

  • Garlic – Whether fresh or cooked, garlic can cause an allergic reaction. People allergic to garlic are recommended to forgo similar food additives, like onions and chives, altogether.
  • Paprika – It’s great for barbecue marinades and general seasoning, but it can cause severe reaction to anyone allergic to it. Thankfully, there are other ingredients that can serve as substitutes to paprika.
  • Mustard – Those who are allergic to mustard should exercise proper care when using it. It is said that mustard is prone to anaphylaxis in those who suffer an allergic reaction to it.
  • Anise – Although anise is not as commonly used in the home kitchen as the other previously mentioned spices, it is widely used as a flavoring for specialty candies, pastries and drinks. It is also a common ingredient in health and beauty products such as shampoos.
  • Fennel – Fennel is a flavoring commonly found in food dyes. Like anise, it can also be found in household products like soaps, toothpastes and air fresheners.
  • Turmeric – Our wonder food is of no exception. Allergic reactions to turmeric may include dermatitis and hives.

As with any food allergies, reactions to spice can be manifested in a number of symptoms: from hives and rashes, swelling of the throat and asthma, vomiting and diarrhea, to unconsciousness and even death. These are just some of the most commonly known symptoms, and certain spices may cause other mild or severe reactions. It is best to evade any spice that causes a negative effect on you.

The all my foodfacts app can help you manage your allergies by letting you log the types of foods that you are allergic to. You can even key in specific ingredients to see whether or not certain food products are safe for you to consume.

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Get the app:

iTunes – http://apple.co/1QE8Gb6

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1Imr3ie

Google Play - http://bit.ly/1QYN0kM

What you should know about High Fructose Corn Syrup

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At Foodfacts.com we strive to educate consumers on choosing the healthiest foods for personal well-being. A huge concern among our followers always resorts back to high fructose corn syrup, with good reason. We’ve heard conflicting reports on this sweetener in the media both opposing and promoting this ingredient. Therefore, we would like to help clear some confusion regarding this additive.
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Chemically, HFCS is very similar to table sugar. However, these two ingredients are processed very differently. High fructose corn syrup is originally derived from corn starch and then endures a lengthy process which basically blends together glucose and fructose. Unlike table sugar which naturally undergoes a chemical process to bond these two parts. Without human assistance; HFCS does not exist naturally. High fructose corn syrup is not squeezed out of a corn kernel.
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So far, we’re not too sure of health implications of this sweetener. It was introduced in the 1960′s and brought into food production in the late 1970′s. However, the Corn Refiners Association assures consumers that HFCS is “safe in moderation”, “natural”, and has the same amount of calories as table sugar. It’s true, they are equal in calories, but claiming it’s “safe in moderation” hasn’t been evidenced just yet. Also, there’s nothing natural about the long process HFCS goes through.
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Some adverse effects and symptoms that have been reported include weight gain, dental cavities, poor nutrition, and increased triglyceride levels, which increases the risk of heart attack. Research is still being done on both opposing and supporting parties to justify these negative health effects.

Some organizations such as the American Heart Association and MayoClinic suggest keeping consumption of any artificial sweetener to under 100 calories per day. Some people choose to avoid them altogether, which may be a safe choice considering the lack of evidence supported by research.

Make sure to read labels very carefully and make educated choices!