I feel lucky that I have never suffered from seasonal allergies. I do know a lot of people that do suffer and I really feel for them. Most people I know describe it as miserable.
When an article from Science Daily landed into my inbox about the connection between food allergies and seasonal allergies, I took note since we are in the middle of allergy season.
In the article, Dr Joseph Leija warns “Those with grass allergies should avoid melon, tomatoes and oranges.” “And ragweed allergies are also linked to allergies to bananas, cantaloupe, cucumber, zucchini and chamomile tea.” (1)
Perhaps this is not so well known among doctors who treat allergies and people (maybe you?) that suffer every spring. Have an allergy to birch pollen? According to the article, birch pollen often also means allergies to apples, peaches, carrots and celery.
An Italian study published in 2013 concluded that allergy to citrus fruits is often associated with pollinosis and sensitization to other plants due to a phenomenon of cross-reactivity (reaction of one antigen with antibodies developed against another antigen.) It confirmed the possible cross-reactivity of citrus with grasses.(2)
A multicenter study in Spain published in 2012 concluded that a protein found in peach (peach being the most prevalent plant ingested allergy in Spain), exhibited cross-reactivity with a wide range of plant foods and some pollen sources, such as mugwort and plane, in a high proportion of patients.(3)
Depending on where you live, pollen activity dates vary. However, in general, trees pollinate in the early spring and grasses and weeds pollinate in the late spring and early summer. In some states, like California, some trees pollinate every month!
It is good to know what trees, grasses, and weeds are pollinating in your area so that you can determine possible cross reactivity with foods. For example, as mentioned above, bananas, watermelon, honeydew, zucchini, cucumber and other members of the gourd family cross react with ragweed pollen, which simply means that their allergy producing proteins are identical. So if you have a ragweed allergy, it is best to avoid these foods, especially during the spring!
If your nose runs, your eyes water and itch, and you sneeze every spring, experiment with removing foods that may be cross reacting with pollens.
If you need immediate relief and want to stay away from OTC drugs, the best natural supplement I have found is a product called HistaEze. My clients email me that their symptoms are improved dramatically while taking HistaEze, which makes me very happy!
- Loyola University Health System. “Spring allergies linked to specific food allergies, says specialist.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407164836.htm>.