Can Food Make Your Seasonal Allergies Worse?
How does this affect me?
If you know you have specific environmental allergies, then learn about the foods that have been shown to be potentially cross-reactive. For example, all legumes (beans, peas, soybeans) as well as grains have been shown to cross react with grasses. I am also sensitive to soy and many beans, so avoid those in addition to wheat. Therefore because of my IgE allergy to several grasses, it is not surprising that my stuffy nose and allergy symptoms went away when I eliminated grains and soy. Here is one list of environmental allergens and their concomitant foods. Here is another similar list.
In most cases, you won’t react to all of the foods that are concomitant for a specific pollen, so you will need to test foods individually. For example, I can eat certain beans such as black beans and chickpeas with no problem. I also can eat the grains oats and rice. Up to 80% of people who are allergic to birch pollen often have food allergies in addition due to cross-reactivity. The foods that most often cross-react with birch are apple, carrot, celery, pear, tomato, cherry, tree nuts and soy.
Cross reactivity between foods
If you know that you have a food allergy or sensitivity to a specific food, you should be aware that you can also have a cross-reactive response to other foods. For example, dairy, corn, soy, yeast and oats have all been shown to be cross-reactive to the gluten grains wheat, barley and rye. If you are allergic to one type of tree nut or one type of fish, you may also be allergic to other tree nuts or fish. This is not always the case, so you should work with an expert health care practitioner to help you determine whether you have additional allergies or sensitivities due to cross-reactivity.
If you have allergies or food sensitivities and are not fully better, please make sure and investigate concomitant or cross-reactive foods. If you need help please be sure to contact me for a complimentary 20-minute session.