How to Live Healthy with a Food Allergy?
Having healthy habits is important, if you want to maintain your health and keep your body fit. In this article, we will talk about how to follow a healthy lifestyle, if you have a food allergy. This will not only include recommendations concerning your allergy-free diet, but also cover other significant healthy life aspects, such as exercising, sleeping, etc.
Below, you will find 9 tips suggested by experts to help people with food allergies make their lifestyle healthier.
Tip #1: Base your diet on nutrient-rich foods.
Nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and high-protein foods should make up the main part of your diet plan. These foods are a healthy choice, because they can provide great nutrition, given a relatively low amount of calories. Keep that in mind when doing your grocery shopping.
Tip #2: Eat more fiber.
Eating enough fiber can reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Besides, it can also regulate your appetite, which means it helps to prevent overeating.
Fiber is contained in foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If you want to be healthy, make sure you eat enough of these.
Tip #3: Food variety is essential for a healthy diet.
It’s not recommended to consume the same group of food products every day. A healthy and balanced diet requires you to eat different foods. Focusing on the food variety in your meals and snacks will help to improve your overall health.
Tip #4: Limit your intake of junk food.
Cheap, tasty and easy-to-find fast food is often an attractive option, especially when you are very hungry. However, getting into the trap of junk food may be dangerous for your health. Apart from a great amount of calories, junk food contains hardly any nutrients, and it may actually lead to the development of serious chronic diseases.
Therefore, it is important to avoid or at least minimize your intake of such foods, especially if you have a food allergy.
Tip #5: Focus on foods that are beneficial for your immune system.
Children and adults affected by one or more food allergies should eat more foods containing vitamins A, C and E, since these foods help to maintain the immune system healthy. Vegetables and dairy products are a great source of vitamin A, while vitamin E is contained in nuts, seeds, oils and fish. Vitamin C can be obtained from citrus foods and fresh, natural juices. Ideally, these nutrients should be present in your diet every day.
Tip #6: Find substitutes for the nutrients you are allergic to.
To avoid the symptoms, people with food allergies should avoid certain foods or even the whole food groups (for example, in case of milk allergy). Thus, common “at risk” nutrients include calcium, vitamin D, iron, zing, as well as DHA.
If you are allergic to the original sources of these nutrients, you will need to find healthy substitutes for these foods.
Tip #7: Replace your allergens with nutritive alternatives.
When choosing substitutes for the foods triggering your allergies, remember that allergen-free alternatives should offer almost the same level of nutrition. For instance, when it comes to gluten-free products, some of them may also be free of fiber and B vitamins, which are important for your health. Therefore, experts suggest that you check the food labels and make sure your food contains necessary nutrients.
Tip #8: Do exercising regularly.
In order to maintain your body healthy, you also need to exercise on a regular basis. There are various types of exercise you can do, including walking, running, swimming, yoga or gym. For adults, health experts recommend doing moderate intensity exercise for at least two and a half hours per week, as well as muscle strengthening exercises at least 2 times a week. When it comes to children, minimum an hour of physical activity is required daily.
Exercising regularly will not only improve your general health, but also reduce stress levels and help you feel more energized and motivated.
Tip #9: Get enough sleep.
Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep is important for the normal growth in children and overall health in adults. According to experts from the National Sleep Foundation, the required amount of sleeping hours per night depends on the age of a person. Thus, the recommended hours of sleep are as follows:
- Children younger than 3 years of age should sleep for about 12-14 hours per night;
- Children aged 3-5 years should get 11-13 hours of sleep;
- 6-12-year-old kids should sleep for 10-11 hours per night;
- Teenagers of 13 and more years of age should get at least 7-8 hours of sleep;
- Adults and elderly people should dedicate minimum 6 hours per night for sleeping.