Fruit & Vegetable Intolerance

They're the natural super foods we're told to eat more of.

Like many health conscious parents... mum Kelli was feeding her daughter Seven, plenty of fruit and vegies thinking she was doing the right thing.

"I was getting very frustrated, very short tempered, I was upset a lot of the time because I couldn't deal with her behaviours and I was embarrassed to go out… I had one of 'those' children when we went shopping," says Keli.

Breakfast was always a battle for mum Sally and her two boys.

"As a parent you think perhaps they're tired or irritable the honey caused really irritable behaviour in one of my sons and so he'd annoy the other one, first thing in the morning he'd have honey on his cornflakes," says Sally.

She too thought her kids were just misbehaving... That was until she was told their behaviour might have something to do with their diet.

"I just thought oh well that's how my children are they just get hyped up and have tantrums and looked at it and it ticked all the boxes. I realized wow it's not them it's food that's causing the tantrums, sleep problems the irritability"

"Salicylates are natural food chemicals that are part of plants and they are there to protect the plant," explains food intolerance expert Sue Dengate.

Salicylates are found in many favourite fruits and vegetables...

"Citrus and berries, plums and prunes, of the fruit, they are some of the worst, and then for the vegetables, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, I mean it's really bad news but that's the way it is," says Sue.

According to her, it's the salicylates in these healthy foods that may have very unhealthy side effects for the intolerant.

"I had no idea, I thought there was a behavioural problem, but after starting the elimination diet and then the low salicylate diet, I realised that this was the most likely cause of the issues we were having," says Kelli.

While Seven's father strongly believes her behaviour is unrelated to her diet... Kelli says she's noticed a huge difference since cutting out the fruit and vegetables that were high in the natural chemical.

"She was easy to settle, she was helpful, she would actually stop and listen when you tried to explain something to her or ask her to do something," says Kelli.

Sally also eliminated salicylates.... Sticking to those foods considered to be fail safe.

"Red delicious apples and Pears are fine, and then with the vegetables, brussel sprouts and swedes and potatoes are good one's," says Sally.

And she's noticed a huge change...

"They don't get upset, everything's fine, they sleep better, they have less anxiety," says Sally.

While most of us can enjoy these healthy foods with no ill-effects, there are those who can't

"In our experience most people who are affected by salicylates don't know about it," explains Sue.

While it's more common in children, some adults, particularly women, can also suffer from the same intolerance.

"I can get an emotional reaction to them so I can get quite grumpy and depressed I also get a physical reaction I can get eczema, dry lips and that sort of thing," says Kassandra.

It was only a year ago that 38 year old Kassandra Modra discovered fruits and vegetables were turning her into a monster...

"Extreme… my poor husband had to live with ridiculous reactions to things, extreme reactions, so he'd do something quite minor and I'd go off at him," says Kassandra.

Even preventing her from working.... But after seeing a dietician she discovered her poisoned chalice.

"Citrus, like lemon, orange, those sort of things, from a vegetable perspective just about everything's an issue so broccoli, cauliflower," explains Kassandra.

While the colour has been taken out of her diet... It's been put back into her life.

"I have a life again so I'm back at work which is wonderful news, I don't have the emotional highs and lows that I used to have, my husband says I'm much more tolerable to be around," says Kassandra.

"Most people say they used to be my favourite foods, I know what they do to me, I'm not going to eat them again," says Sue.

For more information on food intolerances: