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Birch Pollen Allergy: List of Foods to Avoid or Limit

Some people with hay fever develop oral allergies to certain foods. According to some estimates, oral symptoms afflict as many as 70% of people who are allergic to birch pollen. This cross-reactivity between birch pollen and specific foods is commonly known as as pollen-food or oral allergy syndrome (OAS). People with a birch pollen allergy typically develop hay fever in spring and may experience increasing itching, burning, and swelling of the mouth and lips if they don't avoid or limit the consumption of the trigger foods. The below List of Foods to Avoid or Limit if You Are Allergic to Birch Pollen has been compiled to help you find out which foods might be aggravating your birch pollen allergy symptoms.

In most cases, hay fever patients develop oral allergies only to a few of the listed foods. Therefore, it is important to find out which foods trigger oral allergies in your case and to continue to eat the other foods on the list in order to maintain a well-balanced, varied diet.

Vegetables & GrainsFruits & BerriesLegumes, Nuts, SeedsSpices & Herbs
Tomato cross reacts with birch pollen
  • buckwheat
  • carrots (especially raw carrots)
  • celery (also cooked celery)
  • chicory
  • fennel
  • green peppers
  • parsnips
  • raw potatoes
  • tomatoes (especially raw tomatoes)
  • wheat
  • apples
  • apricots
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • cherries
  • figs
  • kiwi
  • nectarines
  • pears
  • peaches (especially peach peel)
  • plums
  • prunes
  • strawberries
  • almonds
  • hazelnuts
  • lentils
  • peanuts
  • peas
  • soybeans
  • sunflower seeds
  • walnuts
  • aniseed
  • caraway
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • dill
  • parsley

In your quest to find out which foods you should limit or avoid if you suffer from a birch pollen allergy, you may realize that you can eat some foods without adverse reactions when they are cooked but not when they are in their raw, unprocessed stated. Cooking and processing often alter allergy-causing proteins to such an extent that the immune system no longer reacts to them. For instance, you may experience an allergic reaction in the mouth after eating raw apples but not when you consume applesauce or apple juice. Similarly, cooked potatoes and carrots are unlikely to cause allergic reactions. However, certain foods such as celery and nuts are resistant to processing and may therefore cause reactions even after being cooked.

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