Why my tongue feels itchy when eating kiwi

Why when I eat kiwi itch my mouth?” This is something that really happens to many people and, although some people only feel a slight tingling and some itching, there are those who feel burning and inflammation in the mouth. This nutritious and healthy fruit is delicious and serves to prevent and treat numerous health problems, especially related to the digestive system, but if we feel discomfort when we take it we must be careful.

If this happens to you, or to someone you know, we recommend that you continue reading this article in which we answer the question about why my tongue feels itchy when eating kiwi. Keep reading and know the reasons, what to do and what other fruits you can eat instead that give you the same benefits.

Calcium oxalate crystals that cause an itchy tongue when eating kiwi

If you feel more than once you have asked yourself “why does my tongue itch when I eat kiwi?” You should know that in the composition of this fruit we find insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in a small amount. But, this moderate amount is enough to produce irritation and itching on the tongue when eating this fruit, as this component causes this reaction in the mucous membranes of the mouth at minimum contact with it.

The most common is that the irritating effects of these crystals occur as soon as you start eating the fruit, or at least begin to notice them before finishing it, and they can last between 5 and 30 minutes after you have stopped eating kiwi. This is a totally normal reaction, although not everyone has the same sensitivity to these components, but if you are very sensitive or has an allergy, then the effect will be noticeable faster and it will take longer to go away.

It is normal that we notice these annoyances especially when eating the central part of this fruit, because in the seeds it is where there is a higher concentration of oxalates and, in addition, it is higher in green kiwi than in yellow and when it is freshly picked, still somewhat green, and is reduced throughout the ripening of the fruit.

In addition, there are those who worry that this oxalate hinders the absorption of nutrients and according to certain scientific studies, which are not yet sufficiently supported by evidence; it is believed that it can facilitate the production of kidney stones when its consumption is high. But, precisely as they are problems that can only occur in the event of consuming large amounts of this component, in the case of eating kiwis even regularly there is no danger because the amount in this fruit is very low.

Kiwifruit proteins that cause allergies

If you think more than once “like kiwi and my tongue burns” you should know that not only the calcium oxalate crystals that this fruit contains are the culprits for this reaction in the mouth. In fact, the proteins it contains tend to cause irritation and allergy reactions very easily. At the moment, 13 kiwi proteins have been found that cause allergies and have been identified as “Act d” protein followed by the corresponding number, from 1 to 13.

These proteins are found both in the skin and in the pulp and seeds of the kiwi and only one of these proteins (Act d 10) is found in the skin and most are in the pulp and seeds, in fact some of the latter found are in the seeds and the center of the fruit.

Oral allergy syndrome or OAS from eating kiwi

In other cases, in addition to the usual discomfort reactions due to the aforementioned, itching on the tongue from eating kiwi is due to an allergy that can occur in this part of the oral cavity or throughout the mouth. This type of reaction is known as oral allergy syndrome or OAS and the reason why an allergy to kiwi of this type is that, in addition to the usual irritation that proteins and oxalate crystals can produce, the person who suffers said reaction has antibodies that react to these and other components of this fruit. The symptoms of food allergies they range from mild itching and irritation to burning and severe irritation and inflammation on the tongue and the rest of the oral cavity, which can cause anaphylaxis.

The usual thing in this case is that the first time this fruit is tasted there is a strong irritation due to the components discussed in the previous sections, but that this problem only goes away after a short time or after eating more things. In this first contact, the body creates antibodies to some of the components of the kiwi and, therefore, the next time it is taken, an allergic reaction occurs. As in most allergic cases and especially in the case of food allergies, the more times the food that produces this reaction is eaten, the stronger this reaction occurs. Therefore, doctors recommend not taking this fruit anymore and replacing it with others that provide the same.

Generalized allergy from eating kiwi

This fruit can produce anything from only a skin allergy to a mild or more serious oral allergy and can produce anaphylaxis, a generalized and serious allergic reaction that must be acted upon quickly.

If you suspect that you may have some type of intolerance or allergy to this fruit, the best thing you can do is check with your doctor, as he or she will be able to give you guidelines on how to act when it happens and what other foods you can eat instead. In addition, you should know that people who are usually more sensitive to this fruit and who suffer a greater allergic reaction often also have other allergies such as pollen, especially birch, and also latex.

What fruits to eat if I have a kiwi allergy

You should know that there is NO remedy for kiwi allergy, only if it is very mild you can help relieve the itch with water and eating other foods, but they will not help you to pass faster or so that this problem does not recur. Therefore, in case of allergy it is best to stop eating this fruit. But, as the health properties of kiwi are many, we recommend that if you only ever notice slight discomfort when eating it and it goes away in a few minutes, keep this fruit in your diet, but if you see that the reaction is more serious or happens to you can always substitute the kiwi for other fruits that give you the same and do not cause unwanted effects.

The best substitute option is orange, as its nutritional value is very similar. For example, a kiwi provides 1.8gr of fiber and an orange 1.6gr and the former provides us with 37.1mg of vitamin C and the orange 35.4mg. Other fruits with high fiber content are figs, apples and plums; in addition the latter also provide a lot of vitamin C as do cherries, guava, lemon, black currant, papaya and strawberries, among other fruits.

This article is merely informative, here we do not have the power to prescribe any medical treatment or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

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