Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Life Is Like A Bowl Of Cherries...

And I'm stuck with the pits.

I absolutely LOVE fresh cherries. I have been snacking on them a lot lately, and I have noticed that my mouth has been irritated. I have had problems in the past with mouth irritation due to the Sodium Laurel Sulfate(SLS) in toothpaste or when I eat too many nuts. It started several years ago out of the blue. I resolved the problem with the toothpaste by switching to Rembrant for sensitive teeth or the one for cancer sore sufferers. Neither one of these have SLS in them. And if I limit the amount of nuts I eat in a week, I usually don't have a problem.

Lately I have noticed a similar irritation when eating cherries. How sad for me. I was so bugged by it that I searched online for some clues as to what could be going on. I found out some interesting information.

In the world of food allergies, there is something called Cross-reactivity which is when people are allergic to foods the are similar or somehow related. A type of cross-reactivity is Oral allergy syndrome. This is when people who have pollen allergies (such as a ragweed allergy) may develop swelling, itching and redness of lips and mouth when they eat fruits or veggies that contain a protein that reacts with the pollen. Weird! Who would have thunk it?

This is a diagram from the website that I got the information from...

If you are allergic to:

You may have a reaction when you eat:

RagweedBananas or melons such as watermelon and cantaloupe
BirchAlmonds, apples, apricots, carrots, celery, cherries, hazelnuts, kiwis, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, or potatoes
MugwortAvocados, bananas, carrots, celery, chestnuts, or kiwis

In my case, I am supposedly allergic to Birch. I never knew about this allergy, but it seems to make sense because Almonds, Hazelnuts and Cherries are all listed. I'm not sure why I have'nt noticed a reaction to the other foods listed, unless you could have the reaction to some but not necessarily all.

It's all quite confusing. All I know is, it stinks. Why could'nt the reaction happen with something I don't like. As I said, "If life is like a bowl of cherries, I'm stuck with the pits!"

By the way, for those of you who don't have a problem eating cherries, you should eat them more often. Besides containing great levels of antioxidents, they also have a reputation for reducing inflammation. According to the USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS), and I'm quoting right from their website, "Results of a preliminary study by ARS scientists and their university colleagues suggest that some natural compounds in plump, juicy Bing cherries may reduce painful arthritic inflammation. Eating cherries may also help lessen the severity of other inflammatory conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or cancer."

Plus, you can eat to your hearts content because there are only 65 calories in a 1 cup serving!

Does anyone else out there have an allergy like this?


EJL said...

I think I would die if couldn't eat cherries. It was my #1 food when I was prego... I once paid $16 dollars for 2 pounds of cherries at wholefoods....
I am soo soo sorry!

barb said...

yes how sad for you annie.

quote(Oral allergy syndrome. This is when people who have pollen allergies (such as a ragweed allergy) may develop swelling, itching and redness of lips and mouth when they eat fruits or veggies that contain a protein that reacts with the pollen. Weird! Who would have thunk it?) quote

annie - I have the exact same problems. I must go do some research as well. some toothpastes burn my lips....eeeewww!!! so I have my nuts in small doses

thanks for the info.

Jen said...

If I eat a lot of nuts
sometimes it fires up my mouth too.

Life is unfair!!

Anonymous said...

Annie, I know how frustrating it can be not to be able to eat the fruits that you love. I have the same problem with nuts, cherries, apples, peaches, plums, pears and many other fruits.
Granny Smith Apples were my favorite.
When I was pregnant with my son, I tried to eat as healthy as possible. The doctor told me I should eat alot of fruit. I was craving a nice green, sour, Granny Smith, so I said to myself, what the heck, I'm going for it! To my surprise I didn't get an allergic reaction...
I was estatic, so I ate another one and another one. The next day I ate a peach, a plum, some cherries, THIS WAS GREAT!!! What's happening to me?
Nine months later I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. That day I asked the nurse if I could have some fruit salad for lunch. When I ate it I immediatly got an allergic reaction. I was so bummed out. I realized that when I was pregnant, my metabolism changed for the better. I guess it's natures way of letting you get the vitamins you need during your pregnantcy.
My solution to you is to GET PREGNANT and for nine months out of the year you'll be able to eat all the healthy foods that you love!

Your Girl Friday said...

hmmm... can't say I do.

Sore/irritated mouth or not - I'm jealous cherries are in season for you! We are in the depths of winter downunder and the most exciting fruit on the shelves are mardarins.

Ugh. Bring on summer!

Annie said...

Lue, I can't imaging eating a cherry like an apple. Once I grab one it's gone. Hahahaha!

Ellie, Wow $16? I don't think I could do it. It would just be the principal...but I guess you really do LOVE them! :)

Doodles, Glad to help. Let me know if you find out anything interesting!

Jen, Life is unfair!!!!

JoAnn, I think I'll just go without! =)

Your Girl Friday, Wish I could send over some summer. Hang on- it won't be long!

Dori said...

A reaction to cherries... how sad! I have heard of some incidences in which people react more to the stuff grocery stores and restaurant put on the produe to preserve. I have seen a similar allergy grouping chart in a book I read.

Annie said...

Dori, I've heard of that too. I don't think that's what it is but you never know. Thanks for the input!

eProf2 said...


I couldn't find a way to attach a word document to your comments on my blog. So, I've published the complete recipe on my blog for your perusal. I hope you enjoy the cookies. I do!

Annie said...

Thank you so much. This recipe reminds me of a brownie recipe I've seen where the prune is not the main flavor ingredient but in fact used as the fat in the recipe. Clever!

I here the jokes all the time but the truth is I love DRIED PLUMS for their flavor and if they happen to help some people with their digestive systems you would think this would be a good thing. HAHahahahah!

When I make them I will post the recipe and give you the credit with a link. OK? Thanks again Eprof and Wife! Annie

Anonymous said...

it's bananas, raw carrots, and walnuts for me, and I have had the occasional melon irritation. it tends to be my throat that itches tho. At one point I had a doc tell me it may mean I have a latex allergy, but who knows.

Annie said...

Bryanne, Looks like your allergic to lots of different types of pollen to get the oral syndrome from these different categories. It's so weird. I still don't get it.
The funny thing is, not one doctor mentioned this to me when I was in the peak of the allergy syndrome. They all told me they could'nt see anything and it must be that I'm dwelling on it too much. UgggH! What nerve. Oh well, glad I found some info on it now. :)