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Key Allergens

Cashews are in the Anacardiaceae family of plants. This family also includes mango and pistachio.

There are three allergens associated with cashew allergy.

Ana o 1 is a vicilin like protein, also called a 7S seed storage globulin protein. 7S globulin proteins are involved in the hydration processes of plant cells and are important for breakdown during germination.

Ana o 2 is a legumin like protein, also known as a 11S seed storage globulin protein. 11S globulin proteins are involved in storage of nutrients in the plant.

Ana o 3 is a 2S albumin protein which are found in most nuts and some seeds and cause people to be allergic to whole groups of tree nuts.

There was a study in 2020 which showed cashews contained a Class VI chitinase protein. Cashews are strongly linked to peanut allergies as they both contain all 3 types of seed storage proteins, giving a lot of potential for cross reactivity.

Food Intolerances

Food is low in salicylates Food is medium in histamine Food is medium in lectins Food is high in FODMAP

Cashews are low in salicylates, so are suitable for people who follow a low salicylate diet.

Cashews are low in histamine, so are suitable for people following a low histamine diet.

Cashews are a high FODMAP food. FODMAP stands for Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.

Cashew contains a moderate amount of lectins, another cause of food intolerance. Cooking foods with lectins makes them more digestible and can reduce the symptoms of food intolerance.

You can read more about Food Intolerances on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.

Associated Syndromes

Cashew Nut allergy can be loosely linked to Latex Food Syndrome due to the chitinase protein.

Cross Reactivity

Other food containing 2S albumin seed storage proteins are brazil nuts, peanuts, almonds, mustard seed, rapeseed, turnip, chickpeas, hazelnuts, pistachio, buckwheat, soya beans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, kiwi, castor beans and sesame seeds.

Other foods containing 7S seed storage proteins not mentioned above are coconut, lentil, lupin, macadamia nuts and peas.

Almonds contain 11S seed storage proteins and are not included in either of the above lists. Visit the 11S seed storage globulin protein page for the extensive list.

Other foods containing chitinase include pomegranate, kiwi, corn, avocado, banana, chestnut, coffee and tamarind.

You can download a Tree Nut Allergy Factsheet from the Allergy Resources Ko-fi Shop for just $0.50 (£0.40 or €0.45). This has up to date information on which foods contain linked allergens and what foods to avoid if you think you have an allergy to tree nuts.

Note these food lists are not exhaustive. The most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.



Allergen Encyclopedia - Cashew Nut

DermNet NZ - Cashew Nuts

What Are the Symptoms of a Nut Allergy?

Allergy UK - Quick Guide to Tree Nut Allergy

FARE - Tree Nut Allergy

AAAAI - Tree Nut Allergy

Anaphylaxis Campaign - Peanut and Tree nut allergies

Can You Be Allergic to Just One Type of Tree Nut?

Anaphylaxis Campaign - Cashew Nuts

Allergy information for: Cashew (Anacardium occidentale)

Histamine Food List

ATP Science - Salicylate Foods

Healthline - FODMAP Foods

Articles and Journals

Prevalence of tree nut allergy in Europe: A systematic review and meta-analysis, 2024

Tough Nut to Crack: Transplant-acquired Food Allergy in an Adult Liver Recipient, 2023

Citrin: a novel food allergen in citrus seeds and citrus-derived pectin that shows cross-reactivity with cashew and pistachio ,2023

Feasibility and safety of introducing cashew nut spread in infant diets—A randomized trial, 2023

Structure and IgE Cross-Reactivity among Cashew, Pistachio, Walnut, and Peanut Vicilin-Buried Peptides, 2023

Co-sensitization to the three non-homologous major cashew allergens Ana o 1, Ana o 2 and Ana o 3 is caused by IgE cross-reactivity , 2023

Tree nut introduction in infants with peanut and/or egg allergy, 2023

Quantitative In Silico Evaluation of Allergenic Proteins from Anacardium occidentale, Carya illinoinensis, Juglans regia and Pistacia vera and Their Epitopes as Precursors of Bioactive Peptides, 2022

Optimizing tools for evaluating challenge outcome in children with cashew nut allergy, 2021

Ana o 3 sIgE testing increases the accuracy of cashew allergy diagnosis using a two-step model, 2021

No cashew allergy in infants introduced to cashew by age 1 year, 2021

Pistachio and cashew nut allergy in childhood: Predictive factors towards development of a decision tree, 2021

Structural and functional features of a class VI chitinase from cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) with antifungal properties, 2020

Food allergy endotype with high risk of severe anaphylaxis in children—Monosensitization to cashew 2S albumin Ana o 3, 2019

Tree nut allergens, 2018

Current perspectives on tree nut allergy: a review, 2018

Low percentage of clinically relevant pistachio nut and mango co-sensitisation in cashew nut sensitised children, 2017

2S Albumin Storage Proteins: What Makes them Food Allergens?, 2008

Cashew nut causes more severe reactions than peanut: case‐matched comparison in 141 children, 2007

Ana o 3, an important cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale L.) allergen of the 2S albumin family, 2005

A voluntary registry for peanut and tree nut allergy: characteristics of the first 5149 registrants, 2001

Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful. If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.

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