Eating The Forbidden Fruit-Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS)

An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.

I remember being told this saying by my teacher in grade school. my case, an apple might actually cost me a trip to the doctor’s office!  

I have what is called Oral Allergy Syndrome when I eat apples, peaches, cherries or any other pitted fruit.  My mouth and tongue start to get itchy and tingly.  Depending on which fruit it is, my lips will even get swollen.

What is Oral Allergy Syndrome?

It’s a reaction to the protein in raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  The reason for it’s name, is because it’s only limited to your mouth, lips, tongue and throat.

For those of us who have this condition, it usually happens right after eating the food and can last anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour or more.  Thankfully, this is typically a less severe food allergy.

If you have this type of allergy, then chances are you have any allergy to certain pollens as well (i.e birch, alder, ragweed & grass)

The good news is, just cause you can’t eat it raw, doesn’t mean you can’t eat it cooked.  Personally, I can still enjoy all the fruits I can’t eat raw when it’s cooked.  Like, mmm…apple pie!

Foods that cross-react

Foods that cross-react with pollen

For more info

Oral Allergy Syndrome

Note: the information posted is based on personal experience.  Please consult a physician for further information or if you suspect you have a food related allergy.


5 Tips On Dining Out With Food Allergies

One of the scariest things to find out as a parent, is that your child has an anaphylactic food allergy.  I have a soy allergy and my daughter has a severe peanut allergy.  I’m Asian, and growing up, both allergies were very uncommon if not completely unheard of.  So imagine my surprise to discover I’m allergic to soy and my daughter to peanuts.  Both ingredients are highly used in Asian cuisine.

Personally, we tend to make our own meals and baked goods just because of the challenges we face when eating out.  But when we have relatives or friends come visit, dining out is something that is requested since we live in Niagara which is known for it’s wine and culinary.  So what do we do when we eat out?

Here are my 5 tips:

1. Carry an Epi-pen. A severe food allergy should never be taken lightly nor can you assume that others take it seriously.  This handy pen will SAVE YOUR LIFE or that of the person with the allergy.

2. Do your research. If you know where you’ll be dining, go online and check out the restaurant.  See what’s on the menu. It’s best to pick a restaurant that can meet what you need and will accommodate you.

3. Call ahead of time. Best thing to do is call the restaurant ahead of time and let them know of your allergy, so that special arrangements can be made and the chef is aware of what is needed.

4. Eat at off-peak times. Since it requires time and preparation, it’s better to eat at a time when it’s less busy.

5. Know what’s in your food.  Sometimes there are hidden traces of food allergens that we aren’t aware of.  So it’s always a good rule of thumb to ask what is in the food (I.e seasonings, etc)