Many people are allergic to tree nuts, but do coconuts fall under that classification?

The Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconuts as  tree nuts. However, the coconut is not a botanical nut– it is actually classified as a fruit. Tree nuts include: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts and pistachios.

How are coconuts different?

Although there have been cases of individuals having allergic reactions to eating coconut, they are rare. More often we see allergic dermatitis to coconut products, and sensitization to coconut pollen.

More commonly seen are allergic reactions to peanut and tree nuts. The numbers for these occurrences are around 1 in 100 for infants, and 1 in 200 to 1 in 500 for adults.

So while allergic reactions to coconut have been recorded, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can eat coconuts. However, there is a small percentage who can’t.

Want to learn more? We’ll explore the issue further in another blog later this month!