Fruits are not only an important element of a healthy diet, but also the best alternative to refined sugar. In summer, the abundance of fresh fruit suggests more frequent consumption. However, one should always be careful since sometimes fruit can be a source of allergies that we may not be aware of.
WHAT IS A FOOD ALLERGY?
Food allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts inadequately to proteins in food. The first stage of the process is called sensitization — when the «memory» of the immune system registers food as a possible threat. Antibodies are produced to this food, and in a subsequent encounter, these antibodies can bind to the protein of the food and cause the release of certain substances in the body, such as histamine. This leads to an allergic reaction. However, some people are sensitive to a food but never have an allergic reaction to it.
People suffering from hay fever are most at risk of developing fruit allergies. This is due to the fact that some fruits contain proteins similar to those of pollen. A cross-reaction occurs — the immune system recognizes the fruit as allergens, which leads to the familiar symptoms of many:
- Redness, swelling of the lips, tongue and palate;
- Feeling of itching in the throat and eyes;
- Abdominal pain, nausea;
- Rarely, a severe allergic reaction may occur — anaphylaxis, leading to difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, changes in consciousness. In this case, immediate medical attention is required.
MOST COMMON FRUIT ALLERGIES
Any fruit can cause an allergic reaction. The most common «culprits» for food allergies are: peaches, apricots, citrus fruits, bananas, kiwis, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, pears, melons.
An interesting fact is that people with such allergies can usually consume the fruit if it has been cooked (jams or various desserts). Another option is to eat the fruit peeled whenever possible.
In most people, the symptoms remain limited within the mouth, are not serious and do not lead to severe complications. As a result, many do not even realize that they are allergic. However, to save yourself the discomfort, we recommend that you visit an allergologist. They will prescribe treatment and a proper diet. Depending on the success of the therapy, it is quite possible that one day you will eat your favorite fruits again.