As if suffering from seasonal allergies isn't enough, you've just figured out that you're more sensitive to certain foods during allergy season. Don't worry, this is pretty common - in fact, there's a name for this phenomenon: Oral allergy syndrome (OAS).
OAS is the most common food allergy among adults that suffer from seasonal allergies and seasonal tree pollen allergy. An itchiness in your throat or mouth after eating pollen-interactive foods is a sure-fire way to tell if you're an OAS sufferer.
So which foods trigger OAS symptoms? Read on to find out...
Certain allergens present in foods trigger OAS
Common allergens found in certain foods – often in its peel or on its skin – are similar to the proteins in pollen, like grass, weeds, tree and ragweed. These allergens are typically what trigger OAS symptoms, such as include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, hives, shortness of breath and tightness in the throat.
On the flip side, non-plant based foods – think milk, eggs and shellfish – aren’t a factor is OAS. If any of these foods trigger an allergic reaction in your body, it’s more likely that you have a specific food allergy, which an allergy specialist will be able to address.
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OAS symptoms usually go away as soon as you digest the food
In most OAS sufferers, the reaction is mild and subsides as you begin to digest the food.
That said, OAS symptoms can still be very uncomfortable, especially if you aren’t sure which foods are triggering the symptoms...
Six foods that trigger OAS symptom
Pitted fruit like peaches, nectarines, pears, apricots, apples and cherries often trigger OAS in people with seasonal allergies. Melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew as well as tropical fruits like banana and kiwi are also responsible for this syndrome.
Just like fruits, vegetables are also capable of triggering OAS symptoms – especially carrots, cucumber, celery, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, Swiss chard and white potato.
#3: Spices and seeds
Before you add spices and seeds to your meals, consider which ones trigger an unpleasant itchiness in your throat and mouth due to high pollen counts. Among the most common culprits are parsley, cumin, coriander, fennel, anise, sunflower, caraway and dill.
#4: Legumes and nuts
Peanuts and soybeans are two major causes of OAS. If peanuts specifically trigger an allergic reaction in your body, you should consult with an allergist for proper testing and management to make sure that your reaction isn’t indicative of a more serious food allergy.
Tip: To reduce your exposure to proteins that cause allergic reactions, peel the skin off your fruits like pears and apples.
Which other foods do you find you’re more sensitive to during allergy season?