Have you been diagnosed with a melon allergy or melon sensitivity?
Do you suspect that you are allergic to melons? Have you noticed that you get uncomfortable symptoms after eating melons?
Having adverse food reactions to melons can be dangerous and sometimes hard to identify.
In this article you’ll learn more about melons, hidden sources of melons, and foods that are related to melons which may trigger symptoms and adverse food reactions.
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Melon Food Family
Melons are part of the Gourd Family, which is also known as Cucurbitaceae Food Family.
The most common melons in the United States are Cantaloupe, Honeydew, and Watermelon. Other varieties of melon are common to Southeast Asia, China, Africa, and other tropical areas.
Melons are often-oval shaped with either textured or smooth skin. Melons often have various shades of green skin or yellow skin. It is common for melons to have pale to dark yellow, green, red, or orange flesh.
Melon Allergy And Melon Sensitivity
If you are allergic to melons or sensitive to melons, you may be allergic or sensitive to the many types of melons.
Different Types Of Melon
- Bailan Melon (a variety of Honeydew Melon)
- Bitter Melon
- Canary Melon (also called Winter Melon)
- Cantaloupe Melon
- Casaba Melon
- Charentais melon
- Crenshaw Melon
- Gac Melon
- Hami Melon
- Honeydew Melon
- Horned Melon
- Korean Melon
- Persian Melon
- Santa Claus Melon
- Sprite Melon
Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome & Oral Allergy Syndrome
The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology provides further information on melon allergy.
Some people suffer from Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome (PFAS) which is also known as Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). This condition is caused by cross reacting pollens found in pollen and raw foods.
Ragweed pollen allergy is associated with reactions to banana, cucumber, melons, sunflower seeds, and zucchini.
Cooked version of these foods are sometimes tolerated because the immune system does not recognize the proteins that have become altered in the cooking process.
Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome symptoms usually do not progress past the mouth and may include itching, scratchy throat, lip swelling, tongue swelling, hives, and itchy ears. Pollen Allergy Syndrome and Oral Allergy Syndrome should be managed by an Allergist. An epi pen may be needed.
Certain people may only experience an allergic reaction when consuming specific melons.
However, the following foods may trigger symptoms due to cross-reactivity among different foods (2):
- Sunflower Seeds
Melon Cross Reactivity
Squash comes in many varieties and is in the Gourd Family as well. People who do not tolerate Melons may also not tolerate Squash or other foods in the Gourd Family.
Summer squashes, winter squashes, and cucumbers are part of the Gourd Family:
Types Of Squash
- Crookneck Squash
- Straightneck Squash
- Yellow Squash
- Zucchini (Green)
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Hubbard Squash
- Pattypan Squash
Hidden Sources Of Squash
- Stir Fried Vegetables
- Desserts such as Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Log
Hidden Sources Of Cucumbers
- Sandwich Toppings
- Middle Eastern Sauces
- Yogurt Sauces
- Dips and Spreads
Hidden Sources Of Melon
Be on the lookout for melons (especially Cantaloupe, Honeydew, and Watermelon) in the following foods:
- Fruit Salad
- Fruit Juice
- Bitter Melon tea and supplements.
- Other varieties of melon are popular in cuisines based on where they commonly grow.
Alternatives To Melon
Eating a variety of foods can be challenging, especially when you have to avoid specific foods.
Here are a list of fruits that are likely to be well tolerated by people who can’t eat melon:
Its not always easy to find the exact fruits you want at the grocery store, so online shopping for fresh and dried fruit is a great option.
Here are a list of vegetables that are likely to be well tolerated by people who can’t eat melon.
- Bok Choy
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green Bean
- Grean Pea
Help For Melon Allergy & Melon Sensitivity
Melon allergy is an overall rare condition and identifying trigger foods may be challenging.
We recommend working with an Allergist, Registered Dietitian or Certified Leap Therapist to identify which foods are safest for you and which foods you should avoid.
If you experience symptoms related to food allergies or suspect allergic reactions we definitely recommend communicating this to your primary care provider as well. The information in this article does not replace medical advice.
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- Food Families Guide, Oxford Biomedical Technologies, Inc.