“Why when I eat a kiwi does my mouth itch?” 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 someone you know, we recommend that you continue reading this article where we answer the question about why I feel 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 causing 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, since this component causes this reaction in the mucous membranes of the mouth with minimal 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 in case of being very sensitive or allergic, then the effect will be noticed faster and it will take longer to go.
It is normal that we notice these discomforts especially when eating the central part of this fruit, since in the seeds it is where there is more concentration of oxalates and, in addition, it is greater in green kiwi than in yellow and when it is freshly picked, even somewhat green, and reduces 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 case of consuming large amounts of this component, in the case of eating kiwis even on a regular basis there is no danger because the amount in this fruit is very low.
Kiwi 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 to occur in the mouth. In fact, the proteins it contains often produce 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 latest found are in the seeds and the center of the fruit.
Oral allergy syndrome or ODS from eating kiwi
In other cases, in addition to the usual discomfort reactions due to the aforementioned, the 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 ODS and why the kiwi allergy of this type is that, in addition to the usual irritation that proteins and oxalate crystals can produce, the person who suffers from such 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 very significant irritation and inflammation of 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 tested, there is a strong irritation due to the components discussed in the previous sections, but that this problem happens only 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 to take this fruit anymore and replace it with others that provide the same.
Generalized allergy from eating kiwi
This fruit can produce from only skin allergy to mild or more severe oral allergy and can even produce anaphylaxis, a severe and generalized 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 it with your doctor, because he can 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 an allergy to kiwi
You should know that there is NO remedy for kiwi allergy, only if it is something very mild can you help to relieve the itch with water and eating other foods, but they will not help you to pass faster or to prevent this problem from recurring. Therefore, in case of allergy, it is best to stop eating this fruit. But, as the properties of kiwi for health are many, we recommend that if you only notice slight discomfort when eating it and they pass 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 replace the kiwi with other fruits that provide 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 first provides 37.1mg of vitamin C and the orange 35.4mg. Other fruits with a high fiber content are figs, apples and plums, in addition, the latter also provide a lot of vitamin C, as do cherries, guava, lemon, blackcurrant, papaya and strawberries, among other fruits.