Foods cross-reacting with pollen

Pollen allergic people may experience symptoms when they eat certain fruits, vegetables, spices, and nuts. It is called cross-reactions.

Lists of foods

Below you will find some of the foods identified so far that may cross-react with pollen. You can see which foods that may cause symptoms.

A pollen allergic person will seldom experience symptoms from all the foods mentioned on the list under one type of pollen. So the pollen allergic person can eat all the fruit and vegetables that do not cause symptoms even if they are on the list. In addition some pollen allergic people may react to foods that are not on the list.

Raw or cooked

Most people with a pollen allergy can better tolerate the cross-reacting foods when they have been cooked, baked, or roasted. If they get symptoms from raw celery and nuts it is however likely that they also will experience symptoms from these two foods when they are cooked.

Reactions towards spices and herbs are rare.

Fruits

Type of Food Allergy  Type of Pollen Allergy
Fruits Birch, alder, elm, and hazel Grass Mugwort
Apple    
Apricot    
Cherry    
Kiwi    
Melon  
Nectarine    
Orange    
Peach    
Pear    
Plum    

Vegetables

Type of Food Allergy  Type of Pollen Allergy
Fruits Birch, alder, elm, and hazel Grass Mugwort
Capsicum (green pepper)  
Carrot  
Celery  
Parsnip    
Potato    
Tomato*  
 

* Tomato is botanically classified as a fruit but is presented as a vegetable here since that is how it is commonly consumed

Legumes

Type of Food Allergy  Type of Pollen Allergy
Fruits Birch, alder, elm, and hazel Grass Mugwort
Pea    
Peanut  

Herbs and Spices

Type of Food Allergy  Type of Pollen Allergy
Fruits Birch, alder, elm, and hazel Grass Mugwort
Anis  
Basil  
Camomile    
Caraway seeds  
Coriander  
Dill  
Fennel  
Lovage  
Marjoram  
Oregano  
Paprika  
Parsley    
Pepper (black, white, and green)  
Tarragon  
Thyme  
Wormwood  

Tree nuts and seeds

Type of Food Allergy  Type of Pollen Allergy
Fruits Birch, alder, elm, and hazel Grass Mugwort
Almond    
Brazil nut    
Hazlenut    
Sunflower seeds    
Walnut    

Honey, camomile tea, and health food

People with pollen allergy may experience symptoms when eating or drinking something containing pollen. Honey, camomile tea, and some health food products and herbal medicine such as propolis may contain pollen. Pollen in foods is not declared on the label.

Exotic fruits and vegetables

Some people with pollen allergy unexpectedly experience symptoms when they eat raw exotic fruits and vegetables e.g. when travelling. For pollen allergic people who normally experience strong reactions towards certain foods it is therefore a good idea to restrict themselves to small pieces of exotic fruits and vegetables until they know whether they can tolerate them.