Cauliflower allergy: Symptoms, And Diagnosis

Cauliflower allergy is one of the sensitive reactions experience by people who are hypersensitive to certain proteins in cauliflower.

Not many people are allergic to cauliflower, but for those who are allergic to it, the symptoms of the allergic can either be mild, moderate or severe depending on the individual involved.

For more clarity, let us look at the vegetable cauliflower, its contents, and nutritional values.

Knowing the chemical components of cauliflower will enable us to understand the allergic reactions caused by cauliflower and as well as the nutritional benefits of cauliflower.

What is Cauliflower?

 The name cauliflower was derived from the Latin word “ caulis” which means cabbage with flower. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the family Brassicaceae family, this family also include other vegetables like cabbage,broccoli, and kale, so if you are allergic to any of this two vegetables then there is also a chance that you will be allergic to cauliflower.

Cauliflower allergy

On the head of the cauliflower which can also be called curd,the florets are tightly clustered and consists of immature flower buds attached to the main stalk.

Over the years cauliflowers have been eaten by Asians but as time went on it gradually spread to the Mediterranean, Turkey, and Italy in 600 BC.

 Around the mid-16th century, this vegetable achieved recognition in France and Northern Europe. Today, India, China, Italy, France, and the United States are among the top producers and exporters of cauliflower throughout the world.

Nutritional  Component Of Cauliflower

Like all known vegetables, cauliflower contains lots of nutrients that every healthy food lover will want to have in their body through the consumption of cauliflowers.

The nutritional contents of cauliflower include, vitamin K, Vitamin B complex, folate and Vitamin C.

It also contains minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium.

 Cauliflower also contains proteins and it is some of these proteins that cause cauliflower allergies because some people who eat cauliflower are allergic to such proteins.

Cauliflowers also contain carbohydrates as well as calories but in a little proportion.

Apart from White cauliflower, it also comes in different other colors which are;

  • Green: Green cauliflower is also known as as broccoflower. It is also present in a curd-shaped form and in a spiky variant referred to as Romanesco broccoli.
  • Purple: The purple cauliflower contains anthocyanins which an antioxidant responsible for the purple color.
  • Orange: It is highly nutritious and it is also packed with amount of vitamin A, when compared to the white variety.

Not minding cauliflower allergies they also have a number of health benefits which is why those who are not allergic to it eat it in order to drive these health benefits from it.

The health benefits of cauliflower include;

  • It prevents oxidative stress, cauliflower contains vitamin C and vitamin E which are potent antioxidants that impact nutrients to the body and helps in preventing oxidative stress.
  • Cauliflower when consumed regularly helps to improve circulatory health, this is due to the presence of glucoraphanin. Research has also proved that cauliflower promotes a healthy heart because it contains a substance,indole-3-carbinol.
  • Cauliflower also helps in the absorption of iron in the body which helps in the production of hemoglobin

Cauliflower Allergy Symptoms

Whenever you ingest a food that is not compatible with your body, the immune system of the body triggers chemical responses that will attack the food as a foreign body that is not welcomed in the body.

These responses and chemical reactions involved is what is known as an allergic reaction,

A lot of people show allergies for a number of foods and vegetables and cauliflower is not an exception

When you ingest cauliflower, your immune system immediately swings into action to determine if it is compatible or not, if not it alerts the IgE antibodies which in turn triggers the production of a chemical called histamine, which stimulates a chemical reaction that in turn leads to allergic reactions. 

Cauliflower allergy

If the reaction, for instance, impacts the respiratory system you will experience breathing difficulty, if affects digestive tract nausea and constipation are brought on by Chemical response if triggered in the bloodstream, then your skin develops migraines and red inflamed bumps.

Hence the cauliflower allergic symptoms include;

  • Skin rashes
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Facial and hand swelling
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Bronchospasm
  • Severe pain in joints (gout)
  • Bloating & gas in the stomach
  • Itching  

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Cauliflower Allergy Diagnosis

 As mentioned earlier most vegetables produce allergy when ingested, and cauliflower is not excluded

When you are experiencing any of the allergic reactions mentioned above, it is important that you lookout for the cause of the allergy called allergen, first all of going through your diet, that way it will be easier to pick out the particular food or vegetable causing mostly when you are having them for the first time in your diet.

  But most times it is difficult to pick out the allergen from the food you eat because allergies are identical and have similar symptoms.

So since you cannot pick out the food or vegetable causing it, then its advisable that you talk to an allergist to find out the cause of the allergy.

Have an Appointment with an allergist

As mentioned earlier, allergies are identical and similar to one another in the way they manifest so to detect the exact cause of the allergy it is very important that you book an appointment with an allergist.

An allergist uses a skin prick test to find out the cause of the allergy.

A skin prick test or skin allergy testing is a procedure for medical diagnosis of allergies which tries to provoke a tiny, controlled, allergic response by introducing a microscopic amount of allergen to a persons skin various means which includes;

  • Skin prick test which involves pricking the skin with a needle or pin containing the needed amount of allergen for the test
  • Skin scrape test although not commonly used involves a superficial scrape performed with the help of the bovel of a needle to remove the superficial layer of the skin.
  • Skin scratch test: it involves a laceration of the skin. A lancet is used to perform the skin scratch test and ideally the bottom part of the lancet is used because it is blunt
  • Intrademic test: In this type of allergy test, the allergen will be introduced under the dermis of the skin in order to elicit a reaction. This procedure is carried out using a hypodermic syringe to make it more effective.
  • Patch test: It involves applying a patch to the skin, the patch will contain the allergen.

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Test Confirmation

If an immune response is noticed or seen in rash form,  anaphylaxis or urticaria it can then be concluded that the patients have hypersensitivity to the allergen.

 Some allergies are identified in a few minutes while others may take several days in all cases where the test is positive, the skin will become raised, red and appear itchy.

A negative test, on the other hand, does not completely mean no allergy, occasionally the concentration needs to be adjusted or the body fails to execute the response.

If the body failed to elicit response then it will be important to do the skin prick test all over again but this time the quantity of the allergen will have to increase enough to make the antibodies in the blood react in order to release histamine so that a response can be elicited.

What to do After Finding The cause of your allergy

When the allergen is confirmed, avoid the food. 

Taking antihistamines and other steroid lotions to decrease inflammation can not stop the response in the future. 

Hypersensitive individual must avoid all food materials which have cauliflower or other veggies which have similar protein structure.

Avoiding all foods involves staying away from them no matter how tasty and sweet they appeal to your taste buds,of course you will agree with me that you do not your body to itch badly because of  a vegetable you can easily avoid.

Experiencing cauliflower allergy means to completely avoid traces of it in your diet, although there are some medications like an antihistamine, that can make the allergy calm but they can only minimize the intensity but not stop it completely.

To be on the safe side staying away from all vegetables and foods that trigger allergic reactions is the best decision to make.

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