Lentils are considered as vitamin-packed, healthy and protein-rich foods. These are categorized as legumes which make them part of the same family as peanuts and beans. It simply means that if an individual has peanut allergy, he/she might also be highly sensitive or allergic to lentils. This is why it is vital that the individual will take proper care by monitoring the symptoms and opting to eat other plant-based proteins instead.
Lentils and other legumes come from the plant family Fabaceae which covers a variety of edibles including soybeans, peanuts, peas, clover, alfalfa and beans. Always bear in mind that lentils are highly prized as nutritious food due to their high protein content. On the other hand, some individuals are highly sensitive to it.
What are the symptoms?
An allergy to legumes is known to trigger symptoms that involve the respiratory tract including rhinitis and asthma. The skin reactions are also present in some children. In some cases, oral allergy syndrome, rashes and hives can also occur. As for severe cases, an individual who is highly allergic to lentils can end up with anaphylaxis which requires immediate emergency care. If the individual is sensitive to lentils, there are also symptoms that can manifest as a response to the inhalation of steam from cooking food.
The similar compounds and proteins present in certain allergens can result to cross-reactivity or end up with allergies to related foods. Some individuals who are allergic to lentils also have an allergic reaction after eating foods that contain chickpeas and peas. Remember that cross-reactivity to peanuts is not considered common but allergy to peanuts is quite common than lentil allergy.
If an individual is not highly sensitive or allergic to all legumes, he/she can acquire proteins from various alternative plant-based sources including edamame, beans, alfalfa, soy nuts or sprouts. Always bear in mind that tree nuts and nut butters including cashews, almonds and walnuts also serve as healthy sources of fat and protein. A dietician can be consulted so that the suitable alternatives can be discussed.
Considerations to bear in mind
If the individual is worried that he/she might have lentil allergy, but not yet diagnosed, a doctor should be consulted so that allergy testing can be carried out. The allergist or dietician might also create a personalized plan on suitable foods to eat and what should be avoided to manage the condition.
Once you suspect that an individual is highly sensitive or allergic to lentils, it is vital to schedule an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible. In case of severe reactions or anaphylaxis, it is vital to seek immediate treatment as soon as possible.