Legum Allergy | Allergy

Legum Allergy Question

by Allergy Guy

Jim asks:

I have allergy for peanuts (all kind of nuts), soya, curry, mustard and leguminous plants. so I wonder if you know what I can and can’t eat.

Yours sincerely/Jim

Doug’s Allergy Answer…

Note: This is my opinion and is not to be taken as qualified medical advice.

That’s quite a list, Jim!

There are a few things to sort out here.

How serious are your allergies? There is a big difference between a nut allergy causing anaphylactic shock, and an allergy that just causes mild discomfort! You need to know this to evaluate the risk factor.

How sensitive are you to these various allergens? This is partly a matter of risk factor, but also a matter of how far you have to go to avoid allergens. For example, if nuts cause you to have anaphylactic shock, you will want to avoid all traces of nuts, even a single grain that may have floated across the table from another dish. If you have mild to medium symptoms, and you are not very sensitive, you can be more relaxed.

For example, I avoid wheat because it makes me feel absolutely awful for a couple of weeks, and crappy for another month after that. However, a little soy sauce (which contains wheat) does not seem to be a problem for me. But that’s just me. Everyone is different.

By and large, nuts (and peanuts, which are actually a legume, not a nut) are an added bonus ingredient if foods, rather than a staple ingredient. You do have to watch out though. Read the ingredients of everything because you never know what deserts, breakfast cereals, energy bars, soups or main courses might contain nuts.

Watch out for nut oil. Peanut oil is common.

Mustard is more of a spice. This should be easy to avoid, but again, check ingredients.

Curry – well curry is made up of a number of ingredients. So I doubt you have a curry allergy, although you may be allergic to one of the ingredients in curry. Why do you think you have a curry allergy? Curry powder is made with ingredients such as turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, mustard, chili and black pepper. Curry could have some or all of these ingredients, and other ingredients besides. Notice that curry might have mustard in it, which may be the problem in your case.

Legumes need more attention, especially soy.

Soy is in everything, including tofu, soy sauce, TVP (textured vegetable protein), oil, infant formula, soy milk, meat replacer/meat filler, etc. etc. etc. I should write a whole entry just on soy, it is that common an allergen, and that common an ingredient.

Soy is also used in many non-food products, such as soap, plastics, ink, clothing … which may be fine if you have a food allergy but not a contact allergy.

Other legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, and peanuts. Are you sure you are allergic to all legumes? I hope you are not a vegetarian!

I hope this helps!

Comments welcome if anyone has further advice or for elaboration.

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