Important Things You Need To Know About Lupin Food Allergy
One of the best superfoods that are slowly becoming an important part of healthy diets all over the world is the legume called lupin beans. Its unique high protein, high fibre, and low carb properties make it popular among vegans, celiacs, and keto dieters, as well as the rest of the population keen on consuming healthier food options. Also, lupin has essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that perform a variety of roles in improving body functions.
Some of the health benefits of lupin include lowering blood pressure and sugar levels, preventing heart disease, improving gut health, boosting the immune system, and managing weight. Lupin consumption improves skin and hair health and fights the signs of aging. Furthermore, it is gluten-free and non-GMO, making it a good option for those with diet restrictions.
With all the great advantages of consuming lupin, it’s easy to understand why there’s an increasing demand for it everywhere. However, because lupin is a close relative to peanuts, it presents the danger of causing allergic reactions, which may be lethal in some cases. We’ve put together the things you need to know about lupin beans, lupin food allergies, and the dangers of lupin.
What Is Lupin?
Lupin or lupin beans are yellow legume seeds related to peanuts and soybean. Animals and humans are consuming lupin since the 22nd century in the Mediterranean, Latin America, and North Africa. However, its low alkaloid cultivars called sweet lupins have been bred and are now increasingly produced, particularly in Australia.
Although it may be eaten raw, the lupin-derived product lupin flour is more consumed as a food manufacturing and baking ingredient, sauce thickener, breading and mixed with beverages.
Among its best qualities, lupin has high amounts of protein. Protein offers a variety of advantages but also a major food allergen. And, like other high protein foods such as eggs and shellfish, lupin may trigger an allergic reaction in a small percentage of the population either through ingestion or inhalation. Reported cases of lupin food allergy are more prevalent in Mediterranean countries and Australia.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lupin Food Allergy?
Allergic reactions to lupin are similar to the symptoms seen with other food allergens. It may include hives, oral itching, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, runny nose, cough, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing. Additionally, lupin could also cause swelling of the face, low blood pressure, tongue or throat, asthma attacks, and even anaphylaxis.
Is There A Link Between Peanut and Lupin Allergies?
Lupin food allergy can be present if you have peanut allergies. Because lupin and peanut are closely related, there is a known cross-reactivity of as high as 44%. The allergenic proteins found to be structurally similar and responsible for cross-reactivity are lupin b-conglutin and peanut Ara h3; lupin b-conglutin and peanut Arah 1; and lupin PR-10 protein and peanut Arah 8.
How Will I Know If I Am Allergic To Lupin?
As with any food allergy, the diagnosis of lupin allergy should begin with a careful history and diagnostic tests, such as skin prick tests and serum-specific IgE. However, results from skin and blood tests do not predict how severe a reaction to lupin will be when actually ingested thus, there is a need for an oral food challenge. It is a supervised feeding of gradually increasing amounts of lupin-containing food. If the allergist determines that a lupin allergy exists, strict elimination of lupin from your diet is necessary.
How Do I Manage Lupin Food Allergy?
The first step in managing lupin allergy is avoidance. If you have peanut allergies, it would be wise to steer clear of lupin altogether. Read all food labels prior to consuming products that may have lupin and be aware of safe practices that will help prevent cross-contamination.
An emergency action plan should be in place if you have a confirmed lupin allergy. You should have a list of instructions for treating a reaction depending on the symptoms present. You should also carry the prescribed medications at all times in case of an allergic reaction. Lupin can cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, which needs to be treated immediately with self-injectable epinephrine. And, even after using epinephrine, it’s best to call for emergency medical services for further monitoring and treatment.
What Are Lupins Used For, And What Products May Contain Lupin?
Lupin may be eaten raw, boiled, or pickled, which will be easier for you to recognise. However, there are flours for food manufacturing derived from ground lupin beans. You may find it in baked goods and gluten-free products as a substitute for wheat. Some beverages may also use lupin as a milk or soy alternative. Moreover, lupin may be in pasta, chocolate and hummus spreads, vegetarian sausages, ice creams, breaded onion rings, stews, and sauces.
Unfortunately, lupin may be hidden or undeclared on an ingredient label of a food product. Eating vegan, keto, and plant-based products may contain lupin so, you need to be careful. However, if you accidentally ingest or inhale lupin, take your prescribed allergy medication and call your doctor right away.
Learning these lupin allergy facts is helpful in managing any health threats that may arise from its consumption. If you have allergic reactions to legumes and protein-rich foods, before you eat any of them best get a diagnosis. And, if you find that you have no allergic reactions to lupin, enjoy this nutrient-dense legume that can do wonders for your health.