Health

Pollen allergies? Watch out for these foods

Updated 8:53 AM ET, Fri August 29, 2014
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Millions of people deal with allergies brought on by different kinds of pollen. But did you know that eating certain fruits, vegetables, nuts and spices can also trigger a reaction?

It's called cross-reactivity, and it happens because the proteins in some foods are similar to those allergy-causing proteins in some pollen, according to the Mayo Clinic. Typically, it might cause the mouth to tingle or itch; in some people, pollen-food allergy syndrome, or oral allergy syndrome, can cause throat swelling or anaphylaxis. Cooking fruits and vegetables can help avoid a reaction.

Read on for foods to be wary of if you're pollen-sensitive.
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Birch tree pollen is one source of spring pollen allergies. Trees release large amounts of pollen that can be distributed miles away, experts say. BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images
If you are allergic to birch pollen, you might also react to apples, celery, hazelnuts and raw potatoes. Andrew Wong/Getty Images
Raw peaches and pears might also cause symptoms for people with birch pollen allergies. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Ragweed pollen is most often a problem in the fall, when it's blamed for numerous cases of hay fever. Ragweed season runs from August to November, but it seems to peak in mid-September in many areas, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. BSIP/UIG via Getty Images
If you're allergic to ragweed pollen, bananas might be a problematic food for you. Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images
Ragweed allergy? You might also react to watermelon, as well as cantaloupe and honeydew melons. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Summertime is when grass pollen allergies are at their worst. There are an estimated 1,200 varieties of grass, experts say, but only a small percentage, including Bermuda grass and Kentucky bluegrass, cause allergies. Tim Graham/Getty Images
If you have a grass pollen allergy, be wary of oranges, peanuts and melons, including watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. Jose R. Aguirre/Cover/Getty Images
Tomatoes and white potatoes can also cause reactions for people with a grass pollen allergy. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Mugwort pollen, seen here under a microscope, is a perennial weed. It can grow up to 6 feet tall. BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images
Those allergic to mugwort should be cautious with garlic, celery, onion and a variety of spices, including caraway seeds, parsley, coriander, anise seeds and fennel seeds. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Carrots, bell peppers and apples might also cause cross-reactivity in people with mugwort pollen allergies. MICHAEL URBAN/AFP/Getty Images