Stock up on These Foods To Outsmart Seasonal Allergies
As spring rolls in, we all know that it's time for pollen season. For seasonal allergy sufferers, this means dealing with frustrating symptoms like itchy eyes, excessive sneezing, and congestion. But you may be surprised to learn that there are simple and natural ways to ease your discomfort, starting with what you eat.
Why Your Diet Matters
Your diet can make all the difference when it comes to managing seasonal allergies. That's because what you eat and drink can impact your body's immune system and inflammatory response, which can either worsen or reduce your allergy symptoms. So if you're tired of feeling down during pollen season, it's time to take a closer look at your plate.
Foods that can make your allergies worse
Watch out for beer and wine! Alcohol can trigger allergy symptoms as they contain chemicals called histamines. Histamines are released by the body in response to allergens, causing symptoms like sneezing, itching, and congestion. Some types of alcohol contain high levels of histamines, making them more likely to worsen allergy symptoms. Additionally, alcohol can dehydrate the body, making it more difficult for the body to flush out allergens and exacerbating symptoms.
Who knew that snacks could be a sneaky source of allergens? Many processed foods contain preservatives, artificial colours, and other additives that can trigger allergic reactions. Some people may also be sensitive to food dyes or other chemicals commonly found in processed foods. It's important to read labels carefully and avoid foods that contain ingredients that trigger allergy symptoms.
Wheat and other gluten-containing grains can cause inflammation, which can worsen allergy symptoms. People with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease may experience worsened allergy symptoms after consuming wheat or other gluten-containing foods. Inflammation caused by wheat and other gluten-containing grains can also affect the digestive system, making it more difficult for the body to absorb nutrients and stay healthy.
Dairy lovers beware! Conventional dairy products could be the culprit behind your seasonal allergy symptoms. Not only do they increase mucus production, but they can also trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. And if you're one of the many with lactose intolerance, consuming dairy could spell double trouble by causing digestive discomfort on top of worsening your allergy symptoms.
When it comes to allergies, consuming refined sugars found in cakes, cookies, and bread can put additional stress on the immune system and cause insulin levels to skyrocket. This sudden increase in blood sugar can then quickly plummet, causing stress to the body and making it difficult for the immune system to fight off allergens like pollen or dust. So, while sugar may be tempting, it's essential to limit your intake to keep your immune system strong and your allergy symptoms under control.
Best Foods For Your Springtime Allergies
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens are not only packed with nutrients, but they are also rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a superhero in the antioxidant world! It can help dial down inflammation and give our immune system a much-needed boost. And when it comes to allergies, that means it can help protect us from allergens that try to make us sneeze and sniffle all day long. Incorporating these greens into your meals, whether in a salad or a smoothie, can help support your body during allergy season.
Quercetin rich foods
Quercetin is a flavonoid that acts as a natural antihistamine and can help reduce allergy symptoms. It works as an antihistamine by inhibiting the release of histamine from certain immune cells, which can reduce allergic reactions and inflammation in the body. Foods that are high in quercetin, such as apples, berries, onions, and citrus fruits, can be added to your diet to help manage allergies. Incorporating these foods into your meals or having them as a snack can be an easy way to get some quercetin into your system.
Ginger has been shown to have natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great addition to your allergy-fighting diet. Whether you add fresh ginger to your meals or drink it in tea, ginger can help reduce inflammation and ease allergy symptoms. Its natural properties also make it a great digestive aid, which can help reduce any digestive discomfort that may come with allergies.
Pineapple is more than just a delicious summer fruit - it can actually be helpful in fighting allergies! That's because it contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. This means it can help reduce the swelling in your nose that can make breathing difficult when allergies strike. Research has even shown that bromelain may even help prevent the development of asthma and other allergic respiratory conditions. So next time you're looking for a sweet treat that can also help you breathe easier, reach for some pineapple!
Riya Lakhani ANutr is a registered nutritionist and health writer with a special interest in plant-based nutrition. She has completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, and has developed a passion for writing about all things plant-based.