Do Raw Fruits And Veggies Make Your Mouth Feel Weird? (Photo)
Have you ever heard anyone complain of an itchy or otherwise tingly mouth and throat when eating raw fruits and veggies? Many times, they're met with a skeptical eye and left to feel like they imagined it. This new study might be a relief to these sufferers.
Npr reports that this is actually an allergic reaction. You don't have to think you're imagining things, after all. It's real! It's called oral allergy syndrome, or OAS, and is often experienced when eating foods that you're actually not allergic to. That's probably part of what makes you feel like you're imagining it.
OAS is a reaction to the pollen that you are allergic to. See, the tingly or itchy sensations in your mouth and/or throat is caused by a protein in the raw fruit/vegetable that you're eating. You're not allergic to that protein, but it's similar to pollen and your body has trouble seeing much of a difference, hence, the allergic reaction.
Dr. Carah Santos of National Jewish Health in Denver says she refers to it as "cross-reactivity."
"Your immune system sees something as looking very similar to something it already reacts to," she says. Dr. Santos also believes that this is one of the most underreported and underrecognized conditions, since many people either don't know it exists, or just can't figure out why they're having allergic reactions to things they're not allergic to. That would be pretty confusing.
Here's a cool little infographic from National Jewish Health that highlights some of the foods that could cause OAS, and some of the symptoms that might be experienced in those who have it.
If you're wondering why you can't eat a pear all of the sudden -- now you know why!
Doctors are saying the best way to combat OAS is by either peeling the item you're trying to eat (since much of the pollen-resembling protein lies in the skin), or cooking it. Who really prefers a raw banana to banana bread, anyway? Or a raw apple to simmered cinnamon and honey apples?
Maybe this is a good reason to make your fruits and vegetables more enjoyable. That's how you look on the bright side. Just make sure you call an allergist if it gets to be too much!