Hay Fever Alert: Avoid These Foods

Steer clear of bananas, cucumbers, and certain other foods to limit your sniffling.

IF YOU SUFFER FROM HAY fever, you could exacerbate your allergies by eating certain foods. Research shows that bananas, cantaloupes, cucumbers, honeydew, watermelon, and zucchini, as well as chamomile and echinacea, contain proteins in their pollen that resemble the pollen found in ragweed. So if you react to ragweed, you could very well react to these foods and herbs.

Hay fever sufferers should avoid these foods during ragweed season, which lasts from mid-August to the first frost, when their reaction would be most severe, says Leonard Bielory, M.D., director of the Asthma and Allergy Research Center at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark, N.J. But if you get hay fever, you may react to these foods any time of year. So if you notice that your mouth itches or tingles when you eat a food on this list, stop eating it immediately and contact your allergist.

PHOTO (COLOR): Beware the pollen in your produce.

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