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Foods to Avoid if You Are Allergic to Grass Pollen

Grass Pollen Allergy

Did you know that avoiding certain foods might relieve your allergy symptoms if you are allergic to grass pollen? Grass pollen, which can cause allergic rhinitis (hay fever), allergic conjunctivitis, or asthma in sensitized individuals, is known to cross react with allergenic proteins found in foods like cherries, kiwis, melons, oranges, pears, figs, tomatoes, and wheat. When people allergic to grass pollen eat these foods during the pollen season (which begins in late spring and continues through early summer), they may experience severe oral allergy symptoms such as itching and swelling of the mouth. These symptoms can be prevented by avoiding cross reacting foods that trigger the symptoms.

Foods that often cross react with grass pollen are listed below. When you plan your diet for the pollen season, keep in mind that you don't have to limit or avoid the consumption of all the foods listed below; just avoid those that you know trigger allergic reactions in your body. Avoiding only what is necessary will help you maintain a more versatile – and thus more balanced and healthy – diet. People allergic to grass pollen typically suffer from allergies to only a few of the potential cross reacting foods.

  • celery
  • cherries
  • figs
  • kiwis
  • melon
  • oranges
  • peanuts
  • peas
  • pears
  • peaches
  • Swiss chard
  • tomato
  • watermelon
  • wheat

Did You Know?

Grasses with the highest allergenic potency include timothy (Phleum pratense), oat grass (Arrhenatherum elatius), orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata), and ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum). Pollen from reed grass (Phragmites australis) and bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is less allergenic.

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