There is a common misconception that a peanut is a part of the Tree-nut allergy. However, this is not true. Peanuts are, in fact, a part of the legume family. Other members include the soybean and peas. Tree nuts are all nuts grown on trees, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, and more. Legumes grow underground and are, in fact, edible seeds.
Your allergist might tell you not to avoid the other legumes, depending on the severity of your allergy and your test results. However, there is one legume that most allergists would advise you to avoid, and that is – lupin.
The Legume Allergy
Many studies have shown that there isn’t a high level of cross-reactivity between peanuts and other legume family members, such as soybeans and peas. This, of course, can be tested by an allergist using a prick-test. However, the exception is lupin. If you are allergic to peanuts, then you will have a higher chance of reacting lupin (over 50%)
Lupin is a legume that is very prevalent in Europe and the USA. They are traditionally pickled and eaten as a snack. However, it is also used as flour and in baked goods. Lupin flour is a good substitute for gluten and is commonly used in gluten-free pasta and baked goods. It is also used for vegetarian meat products and dairy-free ice cream.
What can be done?
Peanut allergies can be very severe, depending on the patient and the degree of sensitivity. The reaction to peanuts can vary from hives to anaphylaxis. Some people only react to an allergen when they eat food containing the allergen. Others might have an allergic reaction when they smell or touch the allergen. Therefore, people with peanut allergies need to be aware of the possibility that lupin legumes will cause them to have an allergic reaction.
People who are allergic to peanuts need to double-check everything before they eat it, and this includes anything that may contain lupin.