Can Vegetables Cause Allergies? (What Vegetables Cause Allergies)

Any food item has the potential to cause an allergic reaction, but some allergens are more common than others.

Quite a few vegetables have been known to cause an allergic reaction in some people, so it’s really important that you know what reaction and triggers to look out for.  

Can Vegetables Cause Allergies (What Vegetables Cause Allergies)

Most allergic reactions tend not to be fatal but that isn’t always the case which is why it is imperative to take the time to learn and understand any of the allergies that you may have.

Throughout this article, we’ll go over some of the main and most common vegetable allergens, this does not mean that they are the only vegetables that could cause a reaction. 

If you believe that you are severely allergic to anything, you should always consult with a doctor. 

What Is A Food Allergy?

If you have a food allergy, it basically means that your immune system doesn’t react appropriately when you ingest it. What happens next is known as sensitization.

This is where your immune system then begins to recognize this food as problematic. 

So the next time that you eat that particular food, you’re body creates antibodies to counteract what your immune system now sees as a threat to your body.

When these antibodies and the proteins from said food connect together, it then activates a release of a substance into the body.

For example, histamine may be produced which thus causes the reaction we perceive as an allergic reaction. 

What Vegetables Trigger Allergies?

As previously mentioned, any vegetable has the ability to cause an allergic reaction but some vegetables tend to be more prone to cause these reactions than others. 

Below you’ll find a list of some of the most common offenders: 

  • Eggplant
  • Beetroot
  • Carrot
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Pepper
  • Mushroom
  • Potato
  • Sweetcorn

What Are The Symptoms Of A Vegetable Allergy

There are 5 main types of reaction to vegetables: 

  • Pollen Food Syndrome
  • More Serious Allergy Symptoms
  • Allergy to LTPS (Lipid Transfer Proteins)
  • Food Intolerance
  • Sensitivity to Chemicals 

Pollen Food Syndrome 

If you find that you are often susceptible to hay fever, it’s likely that you may also suffer from pollen food syndrome with certain foods.

This is because there are very similar proteins that are present in the pollen you are already allergic to and certain vegetables.

This means that when you eat the foods with this protein your body has already deemed them a threat and thus will create antibodies to combat them. 

More often than not, the reaction will only come from raw vegetables. If you cook the vegetables you will be less likely to suffer a reaction.

In most cases, symptoms of pollen food syndrome are only mild and will usually go away with an antihistamine. 

However, if you do have a reaction, it is always best practice to seek advice from a medical professional. 

Symptoms Of Pollen Syndrom

  • Itchiness, redness, or mild swelling of the lips, tongue, inside of the mouth, soft palate, and ears.
  • Itching or swollen throat. 
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. 
  • Running nose, sneezing, sore eyes (like with hay fever)
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing – these are severe symptoms seek medical attention immediately as you may be going into anaphylactic shock.

More Serious Allergy Symptoms

Some individuals who are allergic to vegetables may have very serious symptoms that have nothing to do with pollen.

This can be potentially more dangerous for an individual as some reactions can be life-threatening as it can cause anaphylaxis. 

Can Vegetables Cause Allergies (What Vegetables Cause Allergies) (1)

Symptoms Of Anaphylaxis 

  • Wheezing
  • Swelling of the throat that is so severe it restricts breathing
  • Dramatic fall in blood pressure
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Rash/hives
  • Swelling of the skin (this can occur anywhere)
  • Swelling of the lips 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you experience any symptoms of anaphylaxis seek medical attention immediately.

If you believe you are at risk of anaphylaxis you should consult with a doctor who can prescribe you an adrenaline injection, for example, an EpiPen. 

Allergy To Lipid Transfer Proteins 

Lipid Transfer Proteins (LTP) are a type of protein that are in plants. LTP Syndrome will affect individuals who are particularly sensitive to LTPs and will thus react to the plants that contain them. 

These proteins can also ve found in a selection of nuts, fruits, and cereals.

Symptoms Of LTP Allergy

  • Tingling and swelling of the mouth, lips, eyes, and face. 
  • Hives
  • Stomach ache, nausea, and vomiting
  • Sometimes it can also cause anaphylaxis 

Food Intolerance

There is a difference between a food allergy and food intolerance, even though symptoms can sometimes present the same.

An allergy comes from the reaction of your immune system, whereas an intolerance is caused by something else. 

You can usually tell the difference because there’s a much wider range of symptoms than that of an allergy. 

Symptoms Of Food Intolerance

  • Migraine 
  • Unexplained Fatigue
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Bloating
  • Frequent Diarrhoea
  • Muscle and Joint Pain 
  • Nasal congestion and Discharge

Sensitivity To Chemicals 

Last but not least, it may be a sensitivity to some chemicals that are found in some vegetables.

An example of this is the chemical salicylate. Salicylates are contained in some vegetable skins.

Now, this isn’t actually a true allergy as again your immune system isn’t the actual cause of the symptoms. 

Vaso-active amines are another type of chemical that naturally occurs in some fruit and vegetables. 

Symptoms Of Sensitivity To Chemicals

  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Headaches
  • Flushing
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain 

Final Thoughts

In all cases of allergies, you should always get medical advice from a professional for your symptoms.

They will be able to determine which of these 5 categories you fall under and thus how to proceed to elevate the symptoms. 

While many allergies can have fairly mild symptoms, there is always the possibility of anaphylaxis which can be very serious and even life-threatening, so you can never be too cautious.

If you have any worries whatsoever, contact your doctor. 

Joshua Damie
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