I have suspected for quite sometime that I’ve been developing a pretty serious allergy to fruit over the last few years. Back when I was a kid I had a few bad experiences with cherries. I got really sick. I assumed I was allergic. I avoided cherries for many years.
Since then, over the last five years or so, I’ve noticed odd allergic reaction-like experiences after eating pears, peaches and more recently, apples. This started validating my cherry allergy theory and made me think, “jeez… it seems to be legit AND it seems to have started including other fruits.”
Given that all of the fruits that were causing reaction had thick skins, I started to attribute the allergic reaction to the eating of the skin specifically. It seemed to make sense because bananas, which I love, caused no reaction. I had eaten fruit that doesn’t encourage its skin to be eaten, like oranges, and had no reaction as well. A lot of people I told thought this was all just too specific and weird though, and that it didn’t make any sense. I even started to agree with them after I realized that grapes, which I would consider a relatively thick skinned fruit, cause no reaction at all.
Then I started thinking that I should go see a doctor and see if I could get tested for allergies and find out exactly what it was that I had become allergic to.
I went to the doctor and he kind of ignored my request.
There’s a ton of stuff out there on fruit allergies. They are legit. Well-documented. And while relatively rare, completely possible.
Here are a few key takeaways from a very informative site I found:
- Once the fruits are cooked, canned, microwaved, processed, baked, or heated in any way, the allergic effects are reduced. (Hence why I have enjoyed many cans of peaches without reaction, and also why I can eat apple chips and apple sauce.)
- Kiwis, strawberries, apples, pears, cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, papaya and pineapples are usual culprits. (I’ve had reactions to strawberries, apples, pears, cherries and peaches. No bananas, grapes or oranges on the list! The only pineapple I ever eat is not fresh and hence have had no reaction.)
- Note that the most allergenic part of the fruit is the skin, however, not due to the pesticides, chemicals, or wax on its surface. (Told you so!)
- The most common symptom is oral allergy syndrome, characterized by allergic reactions in the mouth and throat. There can be tingling, itching, and swelling in the mouth, lips, tongue, throat, and palate. (That’s just about all I experience too. Nothing more serious.)
There you have it; I wasn’t crazy after all! Does this mean I have an excuse to not eat all of my recommended daily fruit portions? No? I guess I’m subjected to a life of currants, gooseberries, guava, mango, figs, persimmon and pomegranates then.