Can You Develop an Avocado Allergy?
Avocado is popular tropical fruit, that is rich in healthy fats and vitamin A. Avocados can provide numerous health benefits, such reducing the risk of cancer, protecting from heart diseases and diabetes, treating osteoarthritis, etc. However, in some people, these fruits may trigger a dangerous allergic reaction. In fact, there are two types of an avocado allergy: avocado-induced oral allergy syndrome, or latex-avocado allergy (caused by cross-reactivity). Read more about this fruit allergy below.
What Is an Oral Avocado Allergy?
If you are sensitive to an avocado, you are likely to develop an oral allergy every time you eat the fruit. This happens because your immune system mistakenly perceives tis food as a dangerous substance and tries to protect your body from the “invader”. The symptoms that you may develop vary from mild to severe. The most common of them include itching of the lips, mouth and throat.
An oral allergy to avocado can also affect those who are allergic to birch pollen.
How Is Avocado Related to Latex?
People with latex allergies also often develop an allergic reaction after eating avocados. And vice versa, being allergic to avocado increases your risk for a latex allergy. This is the result of a phenomenon known as cross-reactivity.
Apart from avocados, latex allergies are associated with sensitivity to chestnuts, bananas, kiwis, papayas. In some cases, however, it is difficult to determine the actual allergen, since the reaction may be triggered by the latex in the gloves of someone who prepared your food but not the food itself.
Thus, if you are allergic to latex and avocados, coming into contact with any of the two may cause such symptoms as swollen lips, itchy eyes, sneezing, as well as nausea and vomiting. Systemic reactions like hives or anaphylaxis are also possible. An anaphylactic reaction may cause swelling of the airways and trouble breathing. It is a rare, but very serious condition that requires an immediate medical help.
Is It Possible to Prevent an Allergic Reaction to Avocados?
If your skin reacts to an avocado when you hold it in your hands, the actual trigger of the reaction may be hiding in the pesticides and other crop chemicals found on the surface of the fruit. Washing an avocado with a special chemical-removing solution may help in this case. Organic avocados are not supposed to be exposed to chemicals, so you can also try buying organic fruits to avoid the symptoms.
An avocado allergy cannot be diagnosed using a corresponding skin test. However, getting tested for a latex allergy can confirm sensitivity to avocados.
When it comes to allergy treatment, you can control mild allergy symptoms with some over-the-counter antihistamines. In addition, an OTC cortisone cream can help with irritated skin.
However, you cannot actually cure or prevent an allergic reaction. The best way to do that is to avoid contacts with the trigger.
How Can You Avoid Avocados?
You might think that staying away from guacamole and California rolls is enough to avoid avocados, but in fact, these fruits may be found in many food and cosmetics products.
For example, a lot of dairy-free recipes, common in in vegan and paleo diets, use avocados to create a creamy consistency. In some dishes, avocados can replace butter and other fats. This fruit helps to provide a “fluffy” texture, which is why some people add it to baked goods, such as chocolate chip cookies and brownies.
Avocado extract and essential oils are often used in some cosmetics like shampoos, body lotion and shower gels, since this fruit has good moisturizing properties. Cosmetics products containing avocado are unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction. However, if you have a severe avocado allergy, you may want to check the ingredient list before buying a product.
For those who love avocados, being allergic to it may be quite disappointing. However, there are various foods that may replace it in some dishes. For instance, you can prepare an alternative guacamole sauce using cooked and cooled chayote squash. Pureeing green peas can help to create the creamy green look for spreads. You can also try blending cooked asparagus and broccoli, but this guacamole substitute has quite a specific taste. Besides, avocado slices that are often used in sandwiches and salads can be replaced with sliced artichoke or palm hearts.