Those red strawberries look very delicious and tempting but you know it can wreck-havoc if you have a strawberry allergy. Do you even know why your body reacts to red strawberries? Here is some vital information.
Strawberries belong to the rose family and are grown widely in temperate regions. There are four varieties of strawberries namely, wood strawberry, beach strawberry, meadow strawberry and a variety called fragaria moschata. Here is an amazing fact; the seeds of a strawberry are actually on the outer side of the fruit.
Strawberries are rich in different kinds of proteins. These are found to cause allergic reactions in humans. Our immune system has been designed in such a way that it protects any foreign substance from invading the body leading to allergies. Some of the proteins found in strawberries are identified as harmful to the body system and the immune system triggers off an allergic response. At first consumption, there may be no reactions. But subsequent ingestion of the fruit can cause mild or severe symptoms. The immune system has already started the process of producing immunoglobulin E antibodies to neutralize the proteins. Repeated consumption of strawberries makes the antibodies stimulate body cells to produce histamine. Histamine causes muscle cramps, thinning of the blood vessels.
Research has not been able to prove as to why some people are allergic to strawberries while the others can relish it without thinking of the side effects. But it has identified a particular protein which gives the fruit its red color as the allergy reactor. These proteins are absent in the white variety of strawberries and people who ate these did not have any allergic reactions. Another fact that researchers have discovered is that people who are allergic to birch pollen have similar reactions to red strawberries.
Some symptoms of strawberry allergies are
- Inflammation of the tongue, mouth and throat
- Runny eyes and nose
- Abdominal discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea
For people who are fond of eating strawberries for fear of allergic reactions, there are certain tests which can be conducted by professional allergists. A simple test is by scratching a needle with the strawberry allergen on a small part of your skin. If you are allergic to it, then that part of the skin becomes reds and a small bump may appear after around 15-20 minutes. You may experience some itchiness too. This indicates that you have strawberry allergy.
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