What’s the deal with fruit allergies?
The whole fruit allergy thing is SO bothersome. And I’m not talking about just having fruit allergies, which is annoying, to say the least, but I’m also talking about the mystery surrounding where they come from. There are tons of postings all over the web, but none really point to any quality information about how to rid yourself of those darn allergies! If you do a search for “Oral Allergy Syndrome,” you’ll end up with lots of posts and articles on the subject. Pretty much every one of them says that fruit allergies are on the rise, in general, and that the cause isn’t known or understood. The only suggestion they make is to stop eating the fruits that produce an allergic reaction. Not too helpful.
I can’t make any promises to you about getting rid of your fruit allergies. But what I can offer you is the hope of getting rid of them. I was able to get rid of mine, and it makes me believe that there’s no reason that you can’t get rid of yours. The hard part, of course, is figuring out how to go about doing it.
A brief background of my history with fruit allergies
Throughout junior high and high school I was one of those kids who took an apple to lunch with me every day. I loved apples. I liked other fruits too, but during that period of time, apples were my thing. One day in high school I began to notice that after eating an apple my throat and mouth would get itchy, and I’d get some bumps and general swelling around and on my lips. It got progressively worse over time, and I eventually stopped eating apples. The really sad part was that I had to stop eating pears, strawberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, and plums too! Some people talk about pesticides as a possible cause for these allergies, but I would react equally to organic fruit, so I don’t think that had anything to do with it. I should also note that people often tend to associate fruit allergies with people who get spring allergies, and I do deal with allergies in April and May, so that’s certainly a possible link. However,
The tide eventually turned…
When I was in my mid-twenties I met a super-sweet vegetarian girl who’s diet soon rubbed off on me. Admittedly I was never much of a red-meat eater. I typically stuck mostly to chicken, turkey, pork, and fish, until I made a dramatic shift and stopped eating all animal products. After about 6 months of being vegetarian (vegan, technically), I had a piece of an apple and thought to myself that the allergic reaction it produced was much weaker than it used to be. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I did make a mental note for future reference. After about a year of being vegan, the allergy was 90% gone and I was back to eating every fruit that once caused problems for me! It didn’t take too much longer before I was 100% back to normal with no allergic reactions to any fruits. I can’t tell you how exciting this was, especially since I love fruit and wanted to eat so much more. After all, I had become a vegan, and I needed to get my nutrition from somewhere! These days I’m a raw foods enthusiast who eats probably about 50% of my diet as uncooked whole fruits and veggies, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy eating fruits with no itchiness or swelling.
Why I believe my fruit allergies disappeared
First off, let me say that I’m not here to promote vegetarianism. Really, that’s not my goal. I can’t even say that I think animal products were necessarily the cause of my allergies. Animal products might have caused my fruit allergies, or to be more specific, it’s possible that a particular animal product might have caused my fruit allergies. However, I’m more inclined to think that it was something in one or more of the animal products I was eating.
When I initially shifted to being a vegetarian, the most dramatic change I made in my diet was to eliminate poultry and tuna. Prior to making the switch, poultry and tuna were the two primary sources of protein in my diet. I typically had one or the other on any given day. Admittedly I made other changes during that time, but none was so pronounced.
It seems ironic but it also makes perfect sense that the oral “allergy” that used to be triggered when I ate certain fruits, was actually caused by other foods in my diet. The problem is I can’t say with 100% certainty, which food was the ultimate cause. However, I feel extremely confident that it was a result of either the poultry or the tuna that I was eating during that time. I ate both of them very frequently and in significant quantities during that time period. I was a young teen, and I had begun to consume a lot more calories at that point in my life, and so tuna sandwiches, ground turkey sloppy joes, burgers, and chili, were pretty much my life-force.
If I had to make one recommendation to a person suffering from fruit allergies…
At this point, I have to say that if I could make one recommendation it would be to begin the journey today toward a diet that is 100% plant-based. I believe that anyone who shifts to a whole-food plant-based diet is likely to see dramatic results within just a few months, not to mention the side-benefit of getting leaner and feeling better. However, I realize the idea of switching from an animal-based to plant-based diet is very difficult. And even though that’s the one way you can pretty much guarantee success in ridding yourself of oral allergies, at the VERY least I would say that if you eat a lot of chicken and ground turkey products or a lot of tuna… cut it all out of your diet right away. Ideally I think you should stop eating all non-organic meat, dairy, poultry for a period of 1 year. If you eat tuna or any other fish, especially high mercury-content fish– you know, fish that are near the top of the food chain– you should stop eating that too. You should also consider switching to all natural or organic meat and dairy products that contain no hormones, antibiotics, toxic metals or other chemicals. See if this make an impact. I was able to notice after only about 6 months that my allergies were going away, so I think 1 year should be sufficient for most people to detect a dramatic change.
Good luck. I know how much allergies can put a damper on your ability to enjoy nature’s BEST food. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this one, especially if you make the dietary shift.