Some food allergies and how to avoid them: Almonds to Coconut

In the following list I’ll outline some of the more common food allergies. Just because some food isn’t in this list doesn’t mean that it couldn’t cause an allergy. Remember, almost any food that you eat too often and too much of over an extended period of time can trigger a food allergy. It is always smart to eat a wide variety of food and not to rely on eating the same kind of food over and over again.


Raw Almonds 007Almonds: Allergy to pollen from peach, plum, nectarine, and apricot trees is rare, but allergy to the pollen from their relatives, the almond and the cherry is not. People who are already allergic to tree pollens are more likely to develop an allergy to eating almonds. If you’re allergic to pollen, go easy on the almonds, especially during the spring pollen season.
Apples: Allergy from eating apples is surprisingly common, especially among people who are already allergic to tree pollens. Apple allergy may have any number of different symptoms. Those allergic to birch pollen are especially at risk for apple allergy.

Avocado: Allergy to eating avocadoes isn’t especially common but it isn’t rare either. Some birds that eat avocadoes, parrots for example, can die from eating them. People with an existing allergy to eating kiwi fruits have a greater chance of becoming allergic to avocado. If you do become allergic to eating avocadoes, you may well also become allergic to non-food items such as sun tan lotions with avocado oils.

Bamboo shoots: People already allergic to grass pollen are at increased risk of allergy from eating bamboo shoots. The reaction may be either immediate or delayed.

Brazil nuts: For reasons I am not certain of, people who are already allergic to cashews and pistachios, are at increased risk of becoming allergic to Brazil nuts. They do however both contain some of the same chemicals, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, samarium, and scandium. Allergic reaction to these nuts can include anaphylaxis, so it is potentially dangerous.

Buckwheat: Allergies to buckwheat are fairly common and people who work with buckwheat often develop this allergy. If you have allergies already, those buckwheat pillows might not be a very good idea for you.
Carrots: see Celery.

Celery: Celery allergy is one of the most common of all food allergies. Carrots, celery, parsley, dill, and cilantro (coriander) are all closely related plants called umbels. Cross-reactions between these foods are common too. Itch and rash are the most frequently seen examples of this allergy. * See separate article on this website on celery allergies.

Cherries: Allergies to cherry pollen are common and anyone with pollen allergies is at increased risk of developing an allergy to eating cherries. My suggestion: if you have pollen allergies, don’t pig out on cherries. Also, don’t eat any cherry pie or preserved cherries (including Maraschino Cherries) during the spring tree pollen months. Also, with cherry trees themselves, some cultivars are much more allergenic than others. Pie cherry trees (also called sour cherries even though the fruit isn’t really all that sour) do not usually produce very much allergenic pollen, as the trees are almost always self-fertile. Cherry trees that are sold as “needing a pollinator” likewise shed little allergenic pollen. Cherry trees sold as being good pollinizers, these are the ones that shed considerable pollen.

Chives: see Onions.

Citrus: Cross-reactions within the genus are common, so if someone is allergic to oranges he may well also be allergic to lemons and limes. Most reactions to citrus are probably not true allergies though, and the chlorogenic acid in these fruits may just be causing upset stomach.

Coconut: This is an allergy that most commonly shows up in teenagers and it is one that with any luck may be eventually outgrown. Most common allergic reaction to coconut is rash or itchy skin.

Thomas Ogren

Thomas Ogren is the author of Allergy-Free Gardening, Ten Speed Press. Tom does consulting work on landscape plants and allergies for the USDA, county asthma coalitions, and the Canadian and American Lung Associations. He has appeared on HGTV and The Discovery Channel. His book, Safe Sex in the Garden, was published in 2003. In 2004 Time Warner Books published: What the Experts May NOT Tell You About: Growing the Perfect Lawn. His website: www.allergyfree-gardening.com 

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