An allergy develops once the body erroneously triggers an immune reaction against a particular protein present in food. Peanuts and almonds are two different nuts that have their own specific proteins. Even though these proteins can be strikingly similar and instigate an allergic reaction to one individual, being highly sensitive to peanuts does not necessarily mean that he/she is allergic to almonds and vice versa.
Peanut allergy is considered as a common food allergy among children and can trigger a reaction when eaten, touched or breathed in. Always bear in mind that peanuts tend to vary from other nuts since it is a legume and not a tree nut.
Legumes are comprised of soybeans, peas, beans and lentils, and if an individual is allergic to peanuts, he/she is not necessarily highly sensitive or allergic to other legumes. Even though peanuts vary from almonds and other tree nuts, some individuals who are allergic to peanuts are also allergic to some tree nuts.
Almonds unlike peanuts are categorized as tree nuts. Take note that tree nuts cover a wide category that includes hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts and many others. It is important to note that almonds belong to the plum family of tree nuts.
Always bear in mind that almonds seem to trigger the least issues of all common tree nuts. If an individual is allergic to almonds, he/she might be able to consume other tree nuts and peanuts. On the other hand, there is a possibility that the individual is also allergic to more than one of these nuts.
Peanuts and almonds are present in similar foods. Almonds have been a common ingredient present in almond paste, marzipan, almond milk, almond butter, mixed nuts, pure almond extract and amaretto liqueurs.
Peanuts are also present in peanut butter, peanut-filled candy, Asian dishes, marzipan, peanut oil and peanut flour. On the other hand, both almonds and peanuts or their proteins can be found in other foods including cookies, chocolate, pastries, cakes, ice cream, donuts, specialty coffee, granola bars, cereals, salad dressings and breads.
Even foods that are not made with nuts but manufactured in the same facility that handles nuts might end up contaminated with almonds or peanuts. The labels should be checked if there is a possibility that the food is contaminated with peanuts or tree nuts.
What are the symptoms?
Even though almonds and peanuts are two different allergens, the symptoms triggered can be the same. The typical symptoms of food allergy include the following:
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
The symptoms can stop or even progress to a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. When it comes to anaphylactic shock, it involves swelling of the throat and blockage of the airways and can be fatal if not treated promptly with a shot of epinephrine.