Birds chirping, flowers blooming, warm air and the smell of fresh cut grass — is this what your image of spring sounds like? Or, is it more like itchy watery eyes, runny nose, and a scratchy throat? For many people, spring means peak allergy season and unfortunately, quite a bit of suffering.
On the bright side, the choices you make in the kitchen can help alleviate some allergy-related discomfort so you can still enjoy the beauty of spring. Read on for tips to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms by choosing the right foods and nutrients.
What to Eat
1. Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Eating anti-inflammatory foods is the key to curbing seasonal allergy symptoms. Go for a plant-based diet high vegetables and nuts to do just that. And be sure to include foods high in vitamin C, as this antioxidant can help reduce allergy symptoms.
Flavonoids like quercetin have shown to help alleviate seasonal allergies. One study found that allergy sufferers saw a 96% decrease in histamine release when taking a quercetin supplement . Quercetin is found in many delicious foods such as apples, berries, onions and certain teas. Look for teas that contain chamomile, licorice, nettle, parsley and rooibos . The properties in these teas can also help quell allergy symptoms.
3. Bee Products
You may have heard that eating raw, local honey can help with allergies. Honey isn’t the only bee product that has shown promise for allergy sufferers. Bee pollen can also improve allergy symptoms, and one study found the improvement can be as great as 75%.
Choose pineapple for an excellent source of bromelain, an enzyme that helps reduce inflammation. Bromelain also helps increase the absorption of quercetin, so try pairing pineapple with the quercetin-rich foods mentioned above.
Other Ways to Beat Seasonal Allergies
1. Avoid Histamine and Mucus-Producers
Stay away from foods that can produce excess histamine and mucus. These include sugar, dairy, wheat, food additives, beer and wine.
2. Fill Your Home With Plants
Certain plants won’t produce additional allergies — they actually help filter the air. These can include dracaena, dwarf date palm, English ivy, ficus alii, lady palm, and many others . Talk to your local plant nursery about which plants would be best used to help filter the air.
How are you fighting allergies this season? Share your tips in the comments below.