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Allergy to nuts: symptoms, cross-reactions and replacement options

A nut has different subspecies. Nowadays, we can find many different kinds of nuts on sale: forest, walnut, pecan, etc. Oilseeds include sesame, flaxseed, poppy, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Peanuts, related to legumes, are considered as a nut and used appropriately.

Symptoms of a nut allergy

All nuts contain powerful allergens. At mid-latitudes a nut allergy is usually caused by hazelnuts (the first signs are the itching of the palate or bloating in the oral area). In the USA an allergy to peanuts ranks first in prevalence because Americans use them in large quantities.

Allergens contained in nuts are resistant to high temperatures, but sometimes the symptoms start only when raw nuts are used.


–°ross-reactions often occur on plants of the Rosaceae family, which also include many varieties of fruits. Children suffering from the allergy to nuts react not only to hazel pollen but also to pollen from plants of the birch family. They also can develop intolerance to nuts in general, and then it comes to “allergy to all kinds of nuts.”

If you are allergic to one type of nuts, it is best to avoid all other types of nuts. It is a rare situation when eating nuts do not cause a reaction. A person who suffers from an allergy to almonds, a plant of the Rosaceae family, should carefully use a marzipan substitute made from apricot grains.

Important nutrient materials

Nuts contain, along with protein and carbohydrates, a high percentage of fats (about 35-65%), and a lot of essential fatty acids in particular, as well as a large number of fat-soluble vitamins (especially vitamin E). Another essential food substance is lecithin; some varieties contain a large amount of calcium.

Replacement products

A nut-free diet doesn`t provoke any health problem because valuable vegetable oils contain many of the important fats. A lot of lecithins contains in egg yolks and in soybeans and in sprouted grains of wheat.
Unfortunately, when cooking or baking it is not always possible to add nuts, which are excellent flavors. But you can replace nuts with flax seeds or oat flakes, which are fried in fat.

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