lifestyle

Does Your Mouth Feel Weird/Itchy When You Eat Raw Fruits or Veggies? Here's Why

You're not imagining it, it's real!

Cover image via NPR via Yamtono Sardi/Getty Images/iStockphoto

If any of these raw fruits or veggies leave a weird tingly feeling in your mouth, then you may have oral allergy syndrome (OAS)

Apple, Apricot, Almond, Banana, Celery, Cherry, Cantaloupe, Carrot, Cucumber, Hazelnut, Honeydew, Kiwi, Orange, Pear, Plum, Peach Tomato, Watermelon, Zucchini.

Yes, OAS is a real allergy and is one of the most underreported and underrecognized conditions. While mostly harmless, it happens in people who are allergic to pollen. NPR's Allison Aubrey explains it:

People who have OAS are allergic to plant pollens. Many fruits and vegetables contain proteins that are similar to these pollens. So the immune system can mistake the fruit and vegetable proteins for the plant pollens that caused the allergy.

The prevalence of oral allergy syndrome is unknown, but researchers who evaluated pollen-related food allergies in 2015 concluded: "Although epidemiologic data are scarce, there is no doubt that the increase in pollen allergies is going to be followed by an increase in the so-called pollen-related food allergies."

The common symptoms of oral allergy syndrome are an itchy mouth along with swelling of the lips, mouth, throat, face, and tongue

So how can you manage OAS?

While the obvious thing would be to stop eating any raw fruits or veggies that leave your mouth feeling weird, cooking or baking the food in question can solve the problem, too, as it degrades the protein and eliminates the cross-reaction.

So, for example, even if raw apples make your lips itch, you will probably be able to eat applesauce or apple pies.

Other steps you can take, are:
Peel the food, as the protein is often concentrated in the skin,
Eat canned fruits or vegetables during your pollen season,
Or take oral antihistamine medications to relieve mild symptoms.

Strawberry and Raspberry Pie.

Image via Pexels

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