The old saying was that an apple a day can keep the doctor away. But it looks like avocado scores a point over apple in keeping us hale and hearty. But it’s not allergy proof. You can have avocado allergy.
Stomach upset or nausea after eating avocados is the first sign of allergy. Other symptoms that you may experience include runny nose, sneezing, headache, reddened, itchy skin, teary eyes, sore throat or hoarse voice, stomach cramps, chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
In the worst case, your respiratory tract could become swollen and you may not be able to breathe at all. This condition is known as asphyxiation. These allergic relations can be narrowed down to two possible causes:
- Latex-fruit syndrome
- Birch-pollen allergy.1
Say you are allergic to a certain substance. When you eat or come into contact with another substance with a similar chemical structure as that allergen, you will experience a similar allergic reaction. This is because your immune system cannot distinguish between the two sources.
For every 100 people who have latex allergy, 40 have avocado allergy. The usual symptoms include stomach upset, nausea, runny nose, and itchy skin.
Researchers have found that avocados – and several other fruits like banana or kiwis – contain a protein similar to the latex allergen hevein.2
Latex is natural rubber, which is used to make a variety of things like gloves or condoms. Did you know even your latex condom can trigger an allergy?
So if you are latex sensitive, you may also be avocado sensitive. In fact, 40% of latex allergy victims have avocado allergy. This type of allergy is called the latex-fruit syndrome.
The allergy symptoms usually appear rather quickly but can sometimes manifest an hour or more later. Stomach discomfort and digestive problems are the usual symptoms. But for those who
Don’t give your baby avocados if you yourself are allergic to it.
Adults are not the only ones who are diagnosed with avocado allergy; even infants are known to show intolerance to avocado. As a parent, you should be wary of baby food contents, especially if your baby has already been diagnosed with latex allergy.
Birch Pollen Allergy
Besides stomach ache or other gastrointestinal disturbances, avocados may also trigger Birch pollen allergy, commonly known as oral allergy syndrome. This cross-reactivity between birch pollen and certain foods can lead to symptoms like itching, tingling, and swelling, mostly in the mouth, lips, and throat.
Avocados can make your mouth, lips, and throat itch, tingle, and swell.
Birch pollen allergy occurs when you eat certain cross-reactive fruits and vegetables. The symptoms may appear immediately after eating these foods or sometimes more than an hour later.
Avocado Histamine-Triggered Allergic Reactions
Avocados are a rich source of histamines, a type of natural amines found in foods and also in our body. They are part of our immune response. When an allergen enters our body, histamine is released to force it out. The histamine is what causes allergy symptoms.
If you have eczema, stay off avocados. They release histamines which can worsen the itching.
When foods rich in histamine enter the body, they trigger similar effects. The skin rashes and hives that you might get after eating an avocado can be attributed to the histamines.
If you are already a victim of eczema, avocado will worsen it. These welts can cause itching or may hurt when touched, but do not scratch, rub, or
Treatment For Avocado Allergy
With proper care, the symptoms of avocado allergy can be mitigated. It is best to avoid the fruit if you are allergic to it.
Be warned that they are not restricted to guacamole or California rolls. You may find them in dishes where avocados might not seem like a likely ingredient. Avocados can be used to add creaminess to bread spreads or as a substitute in vegan recipes and baked goods. They may also be used in shampoos and body lotions.
To use in cooked dishes, heat avocados at high temperature or try substitutes.
Check the ingredients in your personal care products for the presence of avocados to avoid them. If you must have it, cook it properly before consuming it.
Studies show that the allergic protein gets destroyed on heating.6
Drink Lots Of Water To Flush Out The Allergen
If you’ve consumed it by mistake and undergoing an attack, drink lots of water to wash the allergen out of your body. Have fresh pomegranate or sugarcane to treat vomiting and nausea.7 If you have trouble breathing, or have other respiratory symptoms, drink tomato soup with freshly chopped ginger and lemon juice.
If it’s severe, please consult a doctor and see if you should take anti-histamine tablets or an epinephrine injection.
|↑1||Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.|
|↑2||Chen, Zhiping, Anton Posch, Reinhold Cremer, Monika Raulf-Heimsoth, and XaverBaur. “Identification of hevein (Hev b 6.02) in Hevea latex as a major cross-reacting allergen with avocado fruit in patients with latex allergy.” Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 102, no. 3 (1998): 476-481.|
|↑3||Sowka, Slawomir, Li-Shan Hsieh, Monika Krebitz, Akira
|↑4||Wagner, S., and H. Breiteneder. “The latex-fruit syndrome.” Biochemical Society Transactions 30, no. 6 (2002): 935-940.|
|↑5||Blanco, C., T. Carrillo, R. Castillo, J. Quiralte, and M. Cuevas. “Avocado hypersensitivity.” Allergy 49, no. 6 (1994): 454-459.|
|↑6||Sánchez-Monge, Rosa, Carlos Blanco, AraceliDíazPerales, Carmen Collada, Teresa Carrillo, CiprianoAragoncillo, and Gabriel Salcedo. “Class I chitinases, the panallergens responsible for the latex-fruit syndrome, are induced by ethylene treatment and inactivated by
|↑7||Panichayupakaranant, P., S. Tewtrakul, and S. Yuenyongsawad. “Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activities of standardised pomegranate rind extract.” Food Chemistry 123, no. 2 (2010): 400-403.|