Pollen Allergies Effecting Your Diet?
Article by Dan Buglio
Maybe the last time you tasted your favorite locally grown fruit or vegetable, your taste buds were a bit confused. Perhaps your first inclination was that you had developed food allergies, because of the itchy sensation in your mouth. If you have a seasonal bout with hay fever (pollen allergies), there are kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts or spices may trigger a new allergic response from your body. After eating certain fresh foods, have you experienced:
A tingling sensation in the lips or tongue Itching in the tongue, mouth and throat Burning sensation in the lips, tongue mouth and throat Watery, itchy eyes Sneezing and runny nose Swelling or rash on lips, tongue and mouthOral Allergy Syndrome is not the same as a true food allergy-it is your existing pollen allergies reacting to proteins in particular fresh foods. If you suffer from Oral Allergy Syndrome, berries are often suggested as a substitute for other allergy-triggering fruits.
If you have experienced these symptoms, you might think that you have a food allergy-but if you already have been diagnosed with hay fever, it is most likely that you have Oral Allergy Syndrome. This oral allergic reaction is caused by hay fever as opposed to allergies to a specific food. Most people with hay fever will notice this oral reaction in early spring and late summer, when pollen is released in increased amounts.
Who is affected?Individuals who suffer with allergies to certain plants and trees, including: alder trees, birch trees, grass, mugwort weeds and ragweed.
Foods that commonly cause cross-allergic reactions:
If you have a sensitivity to alder pollen:almonds apples celery cherries hazel nuts peaches pears parsley If you have a sensitivity to birch pollen: almonds apples apricots carrots celery cherries coriander fennel kiwi nectarines parsley parsnips peaches pears peppers plums potatoes prunes Potential: hazel nuts, and walnuts If you have a sensitivity to mugwort pollen: carrots celery coriander fennel parsley peppers sunflower If you have a sensitivity to ragweed pollen:banana cantaloupe cucumber honey dew watermelon zucchini Potential: Dandelions or chamomile tea
The same intolerance that your body has for inhaled pollens, may also be applied to these lists of foods.
Is there a way to treat Oral Allergy Syndrome?
Peeling fruits and vegetables often eliminates the allergic reaction Canned, cooked or processed foods usually do not cause reactions-only fresh foods trigger allergies Fruit that is freshly picked or still partially unripe is less likely to cause reactions Stop eating food if you notice a tingling sensation around or in your mouth Be aware that you may develop allergic tendencies towards other items on the lists over time-always be on the alert when eating foods on these lists Microwaving food briefly to a temperature of 176-194 F degrees may allow you to eat it Nuts on the lists should be completely avoided-no matter whether they are cooked or not Immunotherapy (i.e. allergy shots) usually will greatly improve or even eliminate Oral Allergy Syndrome
Don’t be distressed about giving up certain fruit or veggies-check out wikipedia’s entry on Oral Allergy Syndrome for a list of alternative food choices.