Discovering Uncommon Allergies on National Banana Split Day

Discovering Uncommon Allergies on National Banana Split Day

A long-loved classic in the world of ice cream sundaes is the customisable, satiating banana split. Since National Banana Split Day is just about here, it means that you’ll be in the perfect place to enjoy a tasty treat that will take you back to the days of childhood. But what about those with a banana allergy? If they pursue testing for allergies and intolerances and discover that they are allergic or intolerant to bananas, what then? Don’t worry; there are all sorts of fun creations waiting below to help you celebrate this delicious holiday all the same.

Banana allergy basics

Bananas are nutritious choices for many things and classic staples for a banana split when you want something sweet. They’re so common in daily diets that many people don’t know a banana allergy or intolerance is possible.

All things considered, a banana allergy is uncommon. Globally, an allergy to bananas makes up only 1.2% of food allergies. However, there is a lot to remember with a banana allergy since cross-reactivity is a very common issue among those with banana allergies, along with other fruit and vegetable allergies. We will touch on that in the next section further.

While the percentage of those with banana allergies is very low, studies show that a hypersensitivity (either an allergy or intolerance) to bananas is on the rise. This appears in both infants and adults, making specialists look closer at banana allergies.

Celebrating National Banana Split Day In Style

Bananas and cross-reactivity

As we mentioned earlier, there is much to learn about and know regarding cross-reactivity with bananas. There are three main areas to learn about as far as potential cross-reactivity. Those are:

  • Latex
  • Pollen
  • Other fruit/vegetables

Cross-reactivity is when shared ingredients/proteins, etc., in one allergen with another source. It means you can react to both elements because there are shared components, even if they seem illogical.


We won’t blame you if you fail to see the direct relationship between latex and a banana. It isn’t logical until you look into a banana’s makeup. Bananas and latex share a protein that makes them similar in their “ingredients,” if you will. If you have a latex allergy, it is very common to have a cross-reaction when eating a banana.


A banana can set you off if you have a pollen allergy (the same would be for many fruits and vegetables since many involve pollen). This is most common in those who have a stronger pollen allergy since there is a tiny amount in a banana.

Other fruits/vegetables

Many different types of fruits and vegetables can cause a cross-reaction with a banana allergy (or vice versa). The most common ones include the following:

  • Melon
  • Orange
  • Apple
  • Strawberry
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Eggplant/Aubergine
  • Celery
  • Tomato
  • Carrot
  • Cherty
  • Dates
  • Lychee
  • Soyabeans

No matter how you look at it, that is a lot of different possibilities for cross-reactions. Other less common ones include mustard, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, and peanuts. Some even react to chilli, barley, and wheat.

How do I know what I am reacting to?

So, with that giant list out there to make you feel intimidated when looking to pick out banana split toppings or get creative in the kitchen, what do you do? The best thing to do is consider testing for allergies and intolerances. This accurate test is essential to know what you are reacting to so that you can adjust your diet in the right areas and know just what potential problems you have for a cross-reaction.

How to safely celebrate National Banana Split Day

If you have determined that you are allergic to bananas, fear not. Like everyone else, you can still enjoy a wonderful National Banana Split Day! While this may be an uncommon allergy, it doesn’t mean you must miss out!

As you can likely guess, you’ll have to skip the banana. But you can create your own dish with all the allergy-safe toppings. You can even enjoy a delicious fruit base if you want to, being mindful of potential cross-reactions and your taste preferences. Chia seeds and oats are great examples that also pack a healthy punch.

If you want to get fancy, consider making your dessert that is entirely unique from the banana split. You can do this by creating your own homemade ice cream, trying gelato, and more. If you do it just right, everyone around you will beg you to make them one, too!

Indulge safely and enjoy

While a banana split might be out of the question when looking to enjoy National Banana Split Day with a banana allergy, it is the perfect opportunity to try something new and never before seen around your dinner table. Prioritise testing for allergies and intolerances first so that you have clear data to help steer your ingredients list. From there, the sky is the limit!

Indulge as freely as you can, and you’ll find that it can give you a strong appreciation of food, ingredient substitutions, and the convenience of designing a safe, satiating, and tasty dessert that everyone can enjoy! Once you’ve mastered that, get the word out among your loved ones about the existence of a banana allergy or intolerance, and show them how delicious your dessert can be without them!

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