Have you ever been in the middle of eating an apple and you notice an itchy feeling in the back of your throat that just won’t go away? Or maybe you’re in the middle of snacking on raw carrots and you notice your lip swelling uncontrollably? When you tell your friends and family about the strange reaction you’ve been getting, they look at you as if you have twelve heads or asked them to perform brain surgery on you. And when you go to the doctors and tell them, the only answer they have for you is that you are having reactions… but what kind? Well, we have the answers to your questions.
If you are someone that usually struggles with pollen allergies, you are most likely also struggling with oral allergy syndrome or pollen-food syndrome. When pollen from trees falls on fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, and celery while they are growing and they are not cleaned off properly, when consumed, they will produce a reaction. However, when cooked, the pollen is burned off, which explains why you can eat the produce in this form. There are some people that struggle with this wacky syndrome that aren’t allergic to pollen, but they are usually triggered by allergens like birch, ragweed, and grass pollen.
But luckily for people with OAS, there are ways to cheat nature and give you the chance to eat the raw fruits and veggies that you are craving. One doctor recommends microwaving the fruit for a few seconds to kill the allergen proteins, but this idea does not work on everyone. Another hack you could try is sprinkling lemon water on the fruit and letting it sit for a couple minutes before eating. Usually, if you take the peel off, you’ll be able to eat it. However, some people really enjoy the crispness that the peel gives the fruit, so these ideas would be ideal for those people to try.