Spring is in the Air

FlowersSpring flowers are finally blooming and the birds are happily chirping but your nose wont stop running and you can’t seem to stop rubbing your eyes. Yes, its that time of year again…allergy season! I’m also an allergy sufferer and came across some really interesting information regarding allergies in class a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t wait to share it with you.

Have you ever heard of oral allergy syndrome? Me neither! In a nutshell it’s an allergic reaction to a food just because you have hay fever. Let me explain. Sensitization to tree pollen happens first. When your body is exposed to the tree or plant that causes your allergic reaction (running nose, itching eyes) it forms antibodies. These antibodies are what causes the allergic reaction the next time you stroll past those gorgeous flowers. So, because of this sensitization you may have a slight reaction to certain fruits or vegetables. For me, my mouth and lips start tingling when I eat peaches or nectarines, but I always thought it was from the pesticides on the skin of the fruit; however, it’s because I’m allergic to birch trees! Where do you fall:

Allergies to this type of Pollen May also trigger an allergic reaction to these foods
Birch Fruits: apple, apricot, cherry, kiwi, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, prune Vegetables: anise, beans, caraway, carrot, celery, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, green pepper, lentils, parsley, parsnips, peanut, peas, potato, tomato Nuts: almond, hazelnut, walnut Seeds: sunflower
Grass Fruits: kiwi, melon, orange, tomato, watermelon
Mugwort Fruits: apple, melon, watermelon Vegetables: carrot, celery
Ragweed Fruits: banana, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon Vegetables: cucumber, zucchini

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in rare cases severe allergic reactions, such as vomiting/diarrhea, asthma, hives and anaphylactic shock can occur. However, reactions normally include: itching/burning lips, mouth and throat, watery itchy eyes, runny nose or sneezing. I just want you to be aware (worse case scenario) what could happen and hopefully explain why your mouth tingles sometimes! For more information, check out the CFIAs website.

Image courtesy of hartlandmartin