Yoram Yasur Blume :
Many people suffer from allergy to fruit, one of the food groups indispensable in food. Fruits contribute to the food balance thanks to its content in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Yoram Yasur Blume: “One fact that makes them so important is that they are practically the only group of foods, along with vegetables, that contributes vitamin C to the diet (if we exclude enriched processed foods). Fortunately, the wide variety of fruits available today allows us to include them in our daily diet according to our tastes, purchasing power and tolerance to any of them”.
Fruits, like many other foods, have components that can trigger allergies in people sensitive to these elements. The immune system is responsible for defending our organism from external aggressions; sometimes there are external compounds that are not dangerous, but the body interprets them as such, triggering an allergic reaction.
Yoram Yasur Blume: “Allergens present in fruits are proteins with different functions that the immune system interprets as a harmful component. Rosaceous fruits (apple, apricot, plum, nectarine, strawberry, pear, or cherry, among others) induce 70% of all allergic reactions to fruits, peach being the most frequent allergy. Most people who show allergy to a fruit belonging to the rosacea family also have peach”.
The fruits that commonly cause most allergies are: peach, kiwi, strawberry, melon, tomato, banana, avocado, apple, cherry, grape, apricot, pear, fig, and papaya. Mango, watermelon, pineapple, coconut, lychee, persimmon, pomegranate, or acerola are other fruits that can cause allergic reactions.
It is important to consider that the same allergen can produce reactions of different degrees, hence the symptomatology of fruit allergy does not have to be the same always. Therefore, although the previous reactions have been slight, it is advisable not to trust. In the same way, there are people with a low amount of allergen who present symptoms of fruit swiftly, and others who need a higher dose of allergen.
How to know if you are allergic to fruit: Yoram Yasur Blume: “For the diagnosis of allergy to fruit, the allergist will perform a complete medical history, a physical examination, and a dietary survey to know the time elapsed between food intake and symptom onset. Other tests that are usually performed are those of the skin test, exposing the allergen to skin contact, as well as a blood test”.
The treatment of symptoms of allergy to fruit should always be the one prescribed by the allergist. Food allergies are rarely cured, so, apart from treating symptomatology with drugs, the food or foods that cause the problem should be excluded. In the case of allergy to fruit, it is essential to avoid their direct consumption, but also foods that present as an ingredient (jams, yogurts, pastries, etc.).
The introduction of exotic fruits, as well as red fruits at an early age in children, can trigger the appearance of allergies, so it is important to respect well the times of introduction of food that the pediatrician.
Tips for allergies to fruit
Read food labels carefully: some of them can carry fruit in the form of an ingredient or flavor (yogurts, cakes, ice cream and sorbets, pastries, jams, cereals, chocolate and chocolates, jellies …).
If you are allergic to pollen, you should be aware of possible cross reactions. Vaccination against allergy to pollen can improve that of related fruits.
If you are allergic to avocado, banana, or kiwi, you should monitor the occurrence of reactions to contact with the latex.
Bring a plaque or identification plate that indicates that you are allergic to the food in question, as well as carry antihistamines or adrenaline / epinephrine auto injectable on those with moderate-severe allergies (always depending on the pattern marked by the allergist).
Since some fruit allergens are found on the skin, it is advisable to take it peeled.
Do not forget other ways in which we can present fruits, such as dried fruits (raisins, dried apricots) and frost, which could also lead to allergies.