COMMON ALLERGENS → Peanuts, Soy & Legumes

peanut allergens


Legume allergies (excluding peanut and soy) are less prevalent and are not considered a top 8 allergen. Additionally, having a peanut allergy does not increase your chances of having clinical reactions to other legumes.


  • Contrary to popular belief, peanuts aren’t nuts, but legumes. Other legumes include: soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peas.
  • Though botanically very different plants, peanut allergies often coexist with nut allergies and are typically not outgrown. The onset of peanut allergies usually begins within the first few years of life.
  • Peanuts are the most common cause of life-threatening anaphylaxis. Even a small amount of peanut protein is often enough to trigger a reaction.
  • Severity of peanut reactions is hard to predict, though there are certain factors that can place individuals at high risk of severe reactions. These include: prior anaphylaxis to the same food, being a teenager or young adult, comorbidities like asthma, concurrent use of certain meds (NSAIDs and beta blockers), and exercise.
  • Oral ingestion of a peanut-containing product is most likely to cause an allergic reaction. Reactions from skin contact are uncommon, although reactions can occur if, for example, a hand that was in contact with peanuts was then placed near the mouth, nose, or eye. Although rare, cases of reactions from inhalation of peanut have been reported, but are usually not associated with anaphylaxis.

Common (and Hidden!) Sources


  • Peanut butter, flour, protein hydrolysate, oil (cold pressed, expeller pressed, or extruded)
  • Goobers, ground nuts, mixed nuts, monkey nuts, nut meat
  • Commonly found in: baked goods, candy, egg rolls, mole sauce, nougat, marzipan
  • Peanuts are a staple of African, Asian, and Mexican cuisine
  • Be sure to avoid products with labels that state the product was processed in a facility that also processes peanuts, as the risk for cross contamination is high.


  • Lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, beans, peas
  • Chilis, vegetarian meat alternatives, soups, hummus, dips, tofu, edamame, miso
  • Legumes are a common protein source in Indian, Asian, and Mexican cuisine

1. Brough HA, Turner PJ, Wright T, et al. Dietary management of peanut and tree nut allergy: what exactly should patients avoid? Clin Exp Allergy. 2015;45(5):859-871. doi:10.1111/cea.12466.
2. Al-Ahmed N, Alsowaidi S, Vadas P. Peanut Allergy: An Overview. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol Off J Can Soc Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;4(4):139-143. doi:10.1186/1710-1492-4-4-139.
3. Ramirez DA, Bahna SL. Food hypersensitivity by inhalation. Clin Mol Allergy. 2009;7(1):4. doi:10.1186/1476-7961-7-4.