Got Hay Fever? Don't Eat Your Veggies

It's the opposite of conventional wisdom, but when it comes to fending off pollen allergies, it might be a wise alter to your diet.

Experts say that some fruits, vegetables, nuts and other foods that we associate with good health, could be triggering an attack.

The reason? Several raw fruits, veggies and other food that were once plants contain the same proteins that kick our immune systems into overdrive when the trees and grass start to pollinate.

Called profilins, these fruits and vegetables have the same structure and chemical make-up as pollen. Our bodies -- recognizing (or mis-recognizing, actually) a threat -- respond by causing us to sneeze, wheeze and generally wish for the dreariest winter weather, just to find some relief.

According to an article at, experts have just started to isolate this pattern. They've dubbed it oral allergy syndrome, and it's characterized by a tingling of the lips, as well as itching eyes, nose and throat.

Experts have compiled a list of the most common seasonal allergens and their cross-reactive foods:

Bananas, melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew), zucchini, cucumber, dandelions, chamomile tea

Apples, pears, peaches, apricots, cherries, plums, nectarines, kiwis, carrots, celery, potatoes, peppers, parsley, coriander, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts

Peaches, celery, melons, tomatoes, oranges

As someone who is tormented by springtime allergies, I've noticed that some foods definitely trigger attacks. Melons, squash, bananas and avocados are among the culprits.

But it turns out that my real nemesis when the flowers start to bloom is dark, hoppy beer. I'm not sure why, but just a sip of beer at the wrong time of year causes my immune system to go into hyperdrive. Fortunately, allergy season comes just once a year.

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