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Fruit & Vegetable Allergies

Everyone is told to eat their fruit and vegetables, but if you have an allergy to these foods, that will cause more harm than good. Fruit and vegetable allergies, like any allergy, occur when your immune system identifies the proteins in fruits or vegetables as harmful. When you come into contact with these proteins, your immune system responds and releases histamines, which then cause your allergic symptoms.

Many different fruit and vegetables have been reported to cause allergic reactions, from strawberries to onions. Fruit and vegetables can be a hidden ingredient in many foods—this is why it’s important to read the label or ask about ingredients before buying or eating certain foods. Ingredients in packaged foods can change at any time—and without warning—so be sure to carefully check the ingredients every time.    

Fruit & vegetable allergy symptoms

Vegetable and fruit allergy symptoms can vary from person to person, but most reactions are stomach or skin related. Reactions can also range from mild to severe, including the life-threatening reaction, anaphylaxis

Common signs and symptoms of a fruit or vegetable allergy can include:    

  • Digestive symptoms (e.g. stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea)
  • Intense Itching
  • Mild wheezing or coughing
  • Itching in the mouth   
  • Nasal congestion

 

Fruit allergies

Any fruit has the potential to cause an allergic reaction, including:

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Cherry
  • Fig
  • Grape
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Litchi
  • Mandarin
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Plum
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon

Many people eat fresh fruit but they can also be canned, dried or pickled and can commonly be found in pastries, chutneys and jams.

Vegetable allergies

Vegetables represent a large and diverse group of foods and are known for providing important nutrients. 

Any vegetable has the potential to cause an allergic reaction, including:    

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Potato
  • Spinach

Vegetables can be eaten raw, blanched or cooked and can be found in sauces and soups or dried and used as a spice. 

 

Oral allergy syndrome

If you have a pollen allergy and have experienced an itchy mouth or throat after eating fresh fruit or raw vegetables, you may have Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). OAS is normally a temporary and relatively mild condition and is also sometimes called Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome (PFAS). Some foods contain proteins that are similar to the proteins in plant pollens: People who have OAS are usually allergic to these plant pollens. If you have a latex allergy, you may also have a cross-reaction and OAS with certain fruits like banana, avocado, melons.

Your immune system mistaken the fruit or vegetable proteins for the plant pollen proteins, and they’ll experience the same type of reaction.

Learn more about OAS 

Am I allergic?

Many people are so used to living with—or being embarrassed by—their symptoms that they never consider asking for help. So, how do you know if your symptoms are caused by a fruit or vegetable allergy, a pollen allergy, or something else? If you think you or a loved one has an allergy to a fruit or vegetable, don’t try to manage the problem on your own. A simple blood test can help identify underlying allergen triggers, if you have an allergy.

Knowing if you’re allergic and what you’re allergic to can help get you relief. Be sure to consult with your healthcare professional.

Learn more about testing