Millions of people deal with allergies brought on by different kinds of pollen. But did you know that eating certain fruits, vegetables, nuts and spices can also trigger a reaction?
It’s called cross-reactivity, and it happens because the proteins in some foods are similar to those allergy-causing proteins in some pollen, according to the Mayo Clinic. Typically, it might cause the mouth to tingle or itch; in some people, pollen-food allergy syndrome, or oral allergy syndrome, can cause throat swelling or anaphylaxis. Cooking fruits and vegetables can help avoid a reaction.
If you are allergic to birch pollen, you might also react to apples, celery, hazelnuts and raw potatoes.
Raw peaches and pears might also cause symptoms for people with birch pollen allergies.
Ragweed pollen is most often a problem in the fall, when it’s blamed for numerous cases of hay fever. Ragweed season runs from August to November, but it seems to peak in mid-September in many areas, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
If you’re allergic to ragweed pollen, bananas might be a problematic food for you.
Ragweed allergy? You might also react to watermelon, as well as cantaloupe and honeydew melons.
Summertime is when grass pollen allergies are at their worst. There are an estimated 1,200 varieties of grass, experts say, but only a small percentage, including Bermuda grass and Kentucky bluegrass, cause allergies.
If you have a grass pollen allergy, be wary of oranges, peanuts and melons, including watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe.
Tomatoes and white potatoes can also cause reactions for people with a grass pollen allergy.