Avocados are tropical fruit that has been consumed by humans for thousands of years.
They were first cultivated and grown in central Mexico, and there is even evidence of their consumption dating back to around 500 BC.
However, avocados are one of the foods that can cause allergies due to their high histamine content.
If you experience stomach discomfort after consuming pure avocado, there is a possibility that you are allergic to it.
You should also be aware if you have an allergy to chestnuts.
Avocados contain a protein similar to those of some nuts, so allergies to the two can be related.
The allergic reaction to the proteins found in avocados and chestnuts tends to be more severe, causing anaphylaxis in some cases.
If you have a chestnut allergy and accidentally touch or eat avocado, seek medical attention immediately.
Is Avocado High in Histamine?
Yes, avocados are one of the foods that should be avoided in a low histamine diet due to their high histamine content.
In addition, avocados also act as histamine liberators, releasing histamine in your body.
Some of the symptoms if you suffer from histamine intolerance are:
- Headache or migraine
- Rashes or hives
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Low blood pressure
- PMS (headache or painful cramps)
- Sinus congestion
- Skin redness
- Stomach or intestinal pain
If you experience one or more of the above symptoms after eating avocado, you most likely have histamine intolerance.
Although the symptoms appear similar to allergy symptoms, histamine intolerance (HIT) is different from allergies.
HIT occurs when there is an imbalance between the amount of histamine in the body and the body’s speed at releasing or clearing it.
When there is a release of histamine in the body, it must be broken down quickly, and otherwise, it will cause you to feel sick.
Histamines are innate signaling substances produced by our bodies and used for various functions.
They aid in the secretion of stomach acid and the production of inflammation and swelling, all of which are necessary for our immune system’s ability to repair infections.
MAST cells are immune cells in our bodies that release histamine when they are exposed to allergens.
The release of histamine causes immunological white blood cells to activate in order to neutralize the threats (allergens).
The DAO (diamine oxidase) enzyme breaks down histamine in the digestive system.
Histamine symptoms are caused by a buildup of histamine in the digestive tract when your DAO enzyme levels are low.
Whether your body reacts depends on your tolerance of each histamine.
If the amount of histamine exceeds your capacity to “hold” it, the histamine will “spill,” and symptoms will appear.
A person’s capacity to tolerate histamine depends on various health factors.
One of the main factors affecting a person’s ability to tolerate histamine is gut health, so eat your probiotics!
What Are the Symptoms of an Avocado Allergy?
Avocados can trigger allergic reactions in two ways – oral allergy and latex allergy.
Avocados contain high histamines, which can trigger allergy symptoms.
Your immune system reacts when you eat avocado and shows some symptoms like itching and stomach problems.
The most common oral allergy symptom is itching in the throat, lips, or mouth.
In addition, it can also cause stomach problems that are similar to IBS symptoms.
In contrast, avocado allergy is most likely to occur if you have a latex allergy because the proteins found in latex and avocados are similar.
Latex allergy can occur due to cross-reactivity, which means the avocado you touch has been contaminated with latex gloves.
Symptoms of a latex allergy include:
- Itching on areas of the body that come into contact with latex
- Swollen lips
- Difficulty breathing
- Sneezing and clogged airways
However, the latex referred to here is not synthetic latex but natural latex derived from the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree.
Avocado is included in high-risk food for patients with latex allergies, and about half of them will experience allergy symptoms when consuming avocado.
If you are allergic to pollen, you will likely get an allergic reaction on the skin by touching the skin of avocados.
Other than allergens are often found on the fruit’s skin, pesticides and other chemicals are used on plants, and they can trigger allergic skin reactions.
Get in the habit of always washing fruit thoroughly before consuming or handling it.
If you want to be more confident that the cause of your allergies is not from avocados, try organic avocados that are free from chemicals that can cause allergies.
Treatment of an Avocado Allergy
If your symptoms are mild, get an over-the-counter antihistamine.
Meanwhile, if an allergic reaction appears on the skin, cortisone cream can also help.
If your symptoms are severe, seek medical attention immediately.
An epinephrine auto-injector, often known as an EpiPen, is typically used to treat severe allergic reactions.
If you have a severe food allergy to avocado or other foods, always have an EpiPen on you.
With avocado’s growing popularity in various diets, you may not be able to tell whether the food you’re eating contains avocado or not, especially if you eat your meals outside or in a restaurant.
Immunotherapy can cure or at least reduce your pollen-related avocado allergy.
Within a few months of starting this therapy, you should notice a reduction in sensitivity to pollen and other environmental allergic conditions.
Prevention of Avocado Allergies
The most effective way to prevent allergic reactions is not to eat avocado at all.
Avocados can be found in various diets, such as vegan and paleo diets.
Its creamy texture makes it a suitable substitute for dairy products and has valuable nutritional content.
Also, avoid avocado-based cosmetics.
However, cases of allergic reactions to avocado-based cosmetics are rarely reported.
If you enjoy the taste of avocado, look for a similar-textured substitute.
Hummus, mashed banana, breadfruit, nut butter, plantains, and tofu spreads are some of the best avocado substitutes.
They’re all packed in fiber, have a mild flavor, and some even contain healthy fats.
How Common Is Allergy to Avocado?
Allergies to avocados are rare, but lately, the cases are increasing.
This is due to the increasing popularity of avocados in various healthy diets that are promoted, especially on social media.
It has many nutrients, is low in sugar, and helps lower cholesterol, making it a top choice in a variety of healthy food recipes.
There is no specific allergy test for avocados.
If you want to test your tolerance for this fruit, do it under the supervision of a doctor or healthcare professional.
Although severe to life-threatening allergic reactions are rare, allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the airways can be dangerous.
Avoid doing the test alone at home without clinical supervision.
The doctor will usually give you a little avocado for consumption in the allergy test.
Another allergy test that can be used to diagnose is the latex allergy test.
Latex and avocados have a similar protein that some folks have a reaction to.
Patients with latex allergy syndrome are usually allergic to fruits such as avocados, melons, kiwis, and bananas.
In addition, if you have a birch pollen allergy, then most likely you also have an avocado allergy.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.