Foods that we intake have a deep connection with any allergic condition, be it Penicillium Allergy or other mold allergies in a good or bad way.
Healthy and apparently safe foods can prove to be deadly under certain allergic conditions. Therefore it is in the best of our interest to know the foods to avoid in our allergic condition.
Today we will discuss the foods to avoid if you are allergic to penicillin, but before that let us briefly discuss the pathogen named Penicillium and the symptoms of mold sickness.
What is Penicillium?
Penicillium is a genus of ascomycetous fungi, and it has a complicated history. If the name reminds you of the common but potent antibiotic, Penicillin, then you are already on the right page.
Some members of the Penicillium genus can produce Penicillin, which was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, and remains one of the world’s most vital antibiotics to this day.
But what you might not readily take away from its name is the potential harm it can have on your health.
Penicillium is an agent of food spoilage. Consuming foods that have been contaminated with Penicillium is risky because many species produce mycotoxins, which can cause disease and death in humans and animals.
But in most cases, when Penicilliums’ mold fungus spores reach the air, it will cause coughing, a runny nose, or itchy eyes, similar to what you would experience during allergy season.
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms but have been unable to isolate an identifiable cause, then you may be allergic to Penicillium. Or, perhaps you have already been diagnosed with a mold allergy and wonder what foods to avoid that are worsening and triggering your allergic condition or symptoms.
These are the top 15 foods and respective reason for you to eliminate these foods from your diet if you are allergic to Penicillium:
It is common for corn to contain mycotoxin-forming molds. Unfortunately, this staple grain is found in many food products.
So if you identify this one as a trigger of the symptoms for your Penicillium allergy, you will need to look out for foods made with corn as well, primarily processed ones.
Possibly one of the more apparent foods, mushrooms are a fungus that likely contains mold, whether fresh, cooked, or raw.
If mushrooms are a part of your diet now and you are trying to pinpoint what is causing your symptoms, it is recommended to take mushrooms off the menu, not just at home but also in restaurants.
Sometimes mushrooms can pop up in dishes when you least expect them, so check with your server too before ordering a dish that may contain them.
This includes foods soaked in vinegar, such as salad dressing, olives, capers, catsup, and pickles. You will also want to stray from balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar.
Vinegar goes through a fermentation process, which means that unfiltered vinegar can worsen your allergy symptoms.
Fermented foods may contain a substance called histamine, which is the same chemical that your allergy cells release during an allergic reaction.
There are certain species of the Penicillium genus that are used in cheesemaking. Moldy cheeses like Gorgonzola and Blue cheese are best to be avoided due to their visible presence of mold.
However, other cheeses may contain mold not visible to the naked eye; in fact, all cheese can contain mold, so to be safe, it is best to avoid all of them.
Dates, dried and fresh mango, figs, raisins, and prunes can potentially contain mold. Plus, the fruits are naturally high in sugar, which is what feeds mold.
Additionally, a diet high in sugar can contribute to a weakened immune system, making it harder to detox the mold in your body and fight off symptoms.
Canned fruit juices
To make canned juices, the skin is removed from the fruit, which means that fiber is extracted, and sugar and preservatives are added to increase the shelf life.
Again, you will want to avoid foods high in sugar or processed sugars.
But canned juices also undergo pasteurization, which is necessary for killing pathogens.
However, there is a potential for spoiled fruits to be used in this process, which means potential for food spoilage bacteria even after pasteurization.
Beer and wine are not recommended to drink with a mold allergy due to the fermentation process, which means both contain yeast and mold.
Not to mention other impurities and sulfites that can exacerbate your symptoms.
Distilled alcohol such as gin, tequila, or whiskey might be better choices if you are going to drink at all; however, most are made from grains and can still be an issue.
There are certain types of meat that were made to have a long shelf life. However, the downside of these smoked, pickled, and prepackaged meats is that they may have high mold levels.
Cured meat such as pepperoni, salami, and sausage are also more susceptible to mold build-up during their extensive drying period.
If you are going to eat meat, buy it fresh, not frozen, and cook it immediately.
Similar to meat, fish should also be purchased fresh and consumed right away. Anything fish that is prepackaged or over 24 hours old may have some mold growth on it.
Peanuts and other nuts
Peanuts contain aflatoxin, which is considered a human carcinogen.
Brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts have the highest mold content and should be avoided.
Nuts and seeds like sunflower, hemp, flax, chia, and pumpkin are a bit lower in mold content. It is possible to include such nuts or seeds in your diet but with caution.
Buttermilk, sour milk & sour cream
These are all dairy products that have been fermented and contain mold. On that note, you should also be cautious of baked goods, as they may contain any of these ingredients.
Any bread or food, such as pastries and pizza, that contain yeast may exasperate a mold allergy. Sour bread such as sourdough and pumpernickel can also worsen symptoms.
To make soy sauce, the soybeans are soaked in water, and wheat is crushed and roasted. The soybeans and wheat are then mixed with a culturing mold, Aspergillus, which is left to develop for two to three days.
Jarred jams and jellies
Apart from the potential processed sugar content, you do not necessarily need to avoid this food category due to its ingredients.
The issue with jarred jelly and jam is the potential for contamination from dipping a previously used utensil.
For instance, we might even introduce a tiny piece of bread that contains mold spores to the jar.
Sauerkraut is a cut raw cabbage that has been fermented by various bacteria. These lactic acid bacteria ferment the sugar in the cabbage leaves and gives it long shelf life.
Because mold is common with sauerkraut, some people are okay with removing a layer of mold off the top. But if you have a mold allergy, you will want to steer clear of this sour food.