Fish is an excellent source of protein.
The National Health And Research Medical Council, Australia’s foremost health research body, advises that Australians should eat more fish. Fish contains a lot of nutrients; it provides energy, selenium, protein, vitamins A and D, iodine, and zinc. It is also a great source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which are very beneficial to our health and essential for life.
Researchers have discovered that regular consumption of fish, at least two servings per week, has the potential to reduce the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular ailments, childhood asthma, and other conditions that are common among Western societies. You can enjoy your fish in healthy ways such as steamed, grilled, and poached.
Fish is an excellent source of protein. But how? Well, let’s see…
Dried fish, for instance, is a unique snack that comes in several varieties. For a low-fat, high-protein option, you can choose halibut, cod, flounder, or haddock. Studies have shown that an ounce of dried fish can provide almost 18g of protein.
Other benefits of dried fish include vitamin B12, selenium, magnesium, and other nutrients.
Shrimp is another excellent source of protein. It is rich not only in protein, but also in fat, carbs, and calories. Three ounces of shrimp can give you 12g of protein and just 60 calories.
Shrimp contains a lot of choline, selenium, and vitamin B12. According to research, shrimp is also a good source of vitamin E, zinc, niacin, and vitamin B6.
Research shows that it also contains astaxanthin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces oxidative damage.
Overview of fish allergy
Fish allergy is an allergic reaction in which the immune system of the human body reacts abnormally to salmon, halibut, tuna, or other finned fish. It is a not-so-common form of food allergy and affects more women than it does men and more adults than it does children. Most fish allergies develop in childhood and persist beyond school age compared to an egg or milk allergy. Symptoms of fish allergy may be mild or severe and include anaphylaxis, gastrointestinal distress, respiratory symptoms, and skin rashes.
Fish allergy is more common in regions where fish is eaten as a staple diet. Fish allergy is triggered not only by eating fish but also by touching it or eating foods that contain fish byproducts.
What causes fish allergy?
Allergies occur when the immune system responds to a harmless trigger. The trigger is known as an allergen. When this happens, IgE will be released by the immune system. The release of IgE causes mast cells to break and release histamine into the general circulation (bloodstream).
Usually, histamine causes dilation of blood vessels so that large immune cells can have access to the site of an infection or injury. In the absence of an infection or injury, histamines can trigger symptoms in the respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, or the skin. These symptoms are what we identify as allergic reactions.
The major allergen that causes fish allergy is parvalbumin. It is a protein. There is minimal variation in parvalbumins among fishes. This means that if you are allergic to one fish, you will most likely be allergic to other fishes. This condition is referred to as polysensitization.
Symptoms of fish allergy
Fish allergy shares similar symptoms with other food allergies. Symptoms usually manifest within an hour of eating. These symptoms include:
- A skin rash or urticaria
- Sneezing and stuffy nose
- Generalized itching
- Stomach pain and indigestion
- Bloating, belching, or flatulence
- Difficulty in breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
You may develop symptoms just by inhaling the fish or making contact with utensils or surfaces used to prepare fish. Sometimes, the affected person may develop contact dermatitis by merely making contact with fish residue or fish.
In some individuals who are allergic to fish, the condition may develop into something more severe, resulting in anaphylaxis. If it is not treated in time, it may lead to coma, shock, respiratory or cardiac failure, and death (in extreme cases).
Test for fish allergy
You can always recognize a fish allergy through the symptoms that usually appear soon after you’ve had a fish meal. To confirm that the allergy is caused by fish, an allergy company can perform a minimally invasive test.
- Blood tests: Using a blood test, the allergist can check for the presence of anti-parvalbumin (an immune protein) in your blood. Your body produces this protein as a response to a fish allergen.
Allergies can be very annoying or even deadly. As such, you must go for tests once you’ve observed a symptom. At Allergy Test Australia, we follow good laboratory practice and our hi-tech allergy & intolerance laboratory is based at our facilities certified according to ISO 9001. Reach out to us today.