Ever felt your mouth "tingle" after you've eaten an apple? Or have you ever heard a friend complain about feeling that way after taking a bite of a banana? Well, turns out that may have been more than just a passing sensation.
According to the National Jewish Health center, the tingling feelings are tied to exacerbated seasonal allergies. That's not all, though. Their severity can actually be so significant that they've been given the title of "oral allergy syndrome."
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Yup, if you've experienced the tingles, you may have a real, diagnosable syndrome. Luckily, Dr. Carah Santos, who works at National Jewish Health in Denver, was able to provide some more details to popular podcast The Sporkful.
Essentially, she said, people with generalized allergies can easily develop other, temporary allergies to certain fruits and vegetables, especially during prime allergy seasons. Since the proteins in many fruits and vegetables are similar to the ones in plants and plant pollens, their immune system may simply mistake the fruit for one of those pollen-ridden plants.
"We call it cross-reactivity," Santos commented. "Your immune system sees something as looking very similar to something it already reacts to."
There's good news, though: Just because you experience the uncomfortable feeling when you bite into a peach or banana, doesn't mean you have to go cold turkey and never eat those foods again. (Besides, it's likely the tingles aren't doing you any actual harm.)
Instead, you can try cooking any foods that cause irritation in order to further break down proteins, or even just peel them.
"Oftentimes [people with OAS] can eat these foods because the cooking process can degrade the proteins that look like the pollen," Santos concluded.
We can definitely help you there.