Lentils are harvested from plants in the Fabaceae
family. These are more commonly called legumes. Other plants in this family include lupin, peanuts, soya as well as various peas and beans. Legumes are such a common allergy you can read more about them on the Legume Allergy Page.
There are 3 key allergens associated with lentil allergies.
Len c 1 is a gamma vicilin unit protein. This links the protein in lentils to other legumes, nuts and seeds that contain vicilin like proteins. Vicilin is also known as 7S seed storage proteins
Len c 3 is a Lipid Transfer Protein
(LTP). These proteins are called panallergens as they can cause multiple allergies across seemingly unrelated groups of foods.
Lentils are a high FODMAP food. FODMAP stands for F
olyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.
Lentils are low in salicylates
. Salicylates have the potential to cause worsening of asthma, swelling, itching and hives as well as food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates.
Lentils contain a large amount of lectins, another cause of food intolerance. Cooking foods with lectins makes them more digestible and can reduce the symptoms of food intolerance.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
Common foods involved in LTP allergy include kiwi, strawberries, sunflower seeds, walnut, apple, mulberry, banana, pea, apricot, cherry, plum, almond, peach pomegranate, raspberry, tomato, grape, celery, peanut, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, chestnut, lemon, tangerine, orange, hazelnut, lettuce, lentils, lupin, green bean, pear, mustard, wheat and maize.
Other foods containing vicilin like proteins are cashew, pecan, hazelnuts, buckwheat, soyabean, walnut, macadamia nut, lupin, peas, sesame and mung bean.
These food lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.
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