Sunflower Seed Allergy
A sunflower seed allergy is an allergy to sunflower seeds or their derivatives which causes an immune system reaction when in contact and/or ingested.
What foods and products contain sunflower seeds?
Sunflower seeds can be purchased in the shell or unshelled. Cooking oils may contain sunflower seed oil and may be labeled as a possible ingredient (‘sunflower or canola oil’ for example) or as a main ingredient. Sunflower seeds can also be found in sunflower seed butters, granola, cereals, breads, bakery products, trail mix, pasta, and so on. Read the label to check for the presence of sunflower seed since it is becoming a very popular ingredient for its protein and low cholesterol value. Bird seed and other pet foods like hamster, gerbil, and guinea pig may also contain sunflower seeds.
Should I avoid sunflowers?
Knowing whether to avoid sunflowers depends on how sensitive you are to sunflower seed and whether the flower has begun seeding. It would be advisable to avoid planting sunflowers in your garden since you have to handle the seeds. If you choose to handle sunflowers or plant them make sure you wash your hands afterward or wear gloves to avoid contact. Sunflower oils from the seeds can remain on clothing as well so if you are handling the seeds make sure you wash the gloves and clothing you were wearing after you finish your project. When purchasing bird food purchase those without sunflower seeds. For example: thistle seed
If you suspect you have food allergies, see your doctor or allergist for testing and diagnosis. Knowing what foods to avoid and carrying emergency medicine like epinephrine, if needed, can save your life if you have a serious allergy.