Can Changing Your Diet Affect Your Seasonal Allergies?

Spring is a beautiful time of year — the flowers are in bloom, the sun is peaking its head out from the rain clouds, and there’s a bit of pep in everyone’s step. However, with this season comes the inevitable: seasonal allergies. If you’re affected by allergies you are famiiar with common allergy symptoms. The feeling of an itchy nose, consistent sneezing, and sore throat. Thankfully, there are allergy medications you can buy over the counter and other allergy treatments to ease your discomfort. For example, studies have shown that changing your diet can greatly decrease seasonal allergy symptoms. To find out more about receiving allergy treatment in New York, get in touch with Dr. Shukla today!

How Allergies Happen

Most seasonal allergies derive from pollen in the air. Being exposed to this pollen is healthy and minor allergies are a natural part of seasons changing. Because the pollen that is brought on by a seasonal change is new to the air, our bodies are unfamiliar with it. Thus, the immune system overreacts to this new substance, producing antibodies to help fight it off (also known as an allergic reaction).

Foods To Avoid

Certain foods can make your allergies worse. Mucus production is usually a symptom of seasonal allergies, so try to avoid foods that will only increase that production. This includes foods such as milk, ice cream, or other foods high in fat and sugar. Also avoid processed foods, gluten, chocolate, alcohol, and any high-sugar products. These types of foods generally bring the immune system down and make it harder for it to fight against allergens. You may also want to identify what specific kind of allergy you have to figure out what other foods to avoid. Certain allergies are specific to certain seasonal foods such as melons and cucumbers, for example.

Foods To Eat

Some studies show that eating a Mediterranean diet can greatly improve seasonal allergy symptoms. This is because the Mediterranean diet is high in antioxidants. According to BlackDoctor, “Antioxidants protect cells from the oxidative damage that causes diseases, and they have immune-boosting compounds.” This diet is mostly made up of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. In addition to following the Mediterranean diet, here is a list of other foods that will aid in decreasing allergy symptoms.

Fresh Vegetables

It’s important to always incorporate a healthy amount of vegetables in your diet, but this is especially true during allergy season. Your body needs a lot of nutrients when it’s trying to produce antibodies to fight off sickness. These nutrients can be found in fresh, organic vegetables such as Swiss chard, beets, and carrots. In general, look for fruits high in quercetin, a compound that decreases inflammation and hay fever, like kale, spinach, apples, and grapes.

Spicy Foods

Eating spicy foods can aid in breaking down congestion or soothing sore throats caused by seasonal allergies. Adding a little extra garlic or cayenne to your meal never hurt! You may also want to try drinking ginger tea or cooking with ginger in a curry dish. Garlic, alone, has many medicinal properties and is high in nutrients. If you can stomach it, try chewing or sucking on a small piece of garlic and allow your body to take in its nutrient-rich juices.

High in Probiotics

Probiotic-rich foods not only improve mood and skin condition, but they also boost your immune system and aid in digestion. By boosting your immune system, your body has a better chance of dealing with pesky allergens. Foods high in probiotics include kimchi, kombucha, kefir, tempeh, miso, and pickles. For a long list of probiotic-rich foods and their specific benefits, continue reading here.

Raw, Local Honey

Honey that hasn’t been pasteurized or heated is considered raw. The benefit of raw honey vs other honey is that raw honey contains a high level of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes. This is especially important to our body’s immune system during allergy season. Eating local honey may also decrease allergy symptoms because the body is being exposed to the pollen more by ingesting it and therefore “desensitizes them to the fauna triggering the allergic reaction.” (link)

Immune-Boosting Fluids

Staying on top of your fluid intake during allergy season is important and can also decrease your symptoms. Drinking certain fluids that will boost your immune system may also prove worthwhile. This includes kombucha, apple cider vinegar, bone broth, and all-natural fruit or vegetable juices. Just remember to stay away from sugary drinks and when in doubt, drink water.

Allergy Treatment in New York

If you’re struggling with seasonal allergies, try adjusting your diet to include the foods and liquids mentioned above. For any severe allergy situations, don’t hesitate to contact a professional allergy specialist. Call Dr. Shukla to schedule an appointment today to get a clear diagnosis and treatment for your allergy symptoms.

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