When the ground begins to thaw and buds spring to life on the trees, seasonal allergies also blossom for many people. Allergies refer to an abnormal immune response that can produce a wide range of symptoms ranging from stuffy, runny nose, sneezing, red eyes, coughing, and hay fever. Over-the-counter treatments such as anti-histamines, intranasal steroids, etc. can help provide temporary relief. However, as a proponent of holistic health therapies, food and lifestyle modifications should always be considered first.
Reach for the refrigerator
A first line of defence should always be food. Spring is the perfect time to increase your fresh and seasonal produce loaded with vitamins and minerals that can help combat some of those irritating symptoms.
Here are the top 5 foods to fill your fridge with during allergy season:
- Greens such as broccoli, spinach, kale, swiss chard, and leafy herbs offer a boost of folic acid which may help reduce immune response to allergens. Juice these beauties, lightly sauté or incorporate into spring soups and stir-fries.
- Citrus fruit and berries can help reduce mucus build up in the nose and sinuses and help clear the nasal passages.
- Red onions, garlic, broccoli, and apples are some common food sources that contain quercetin which works to inhibit the release of histamine and decrease inflammation. You can also supplement with quercetin to help improve its absorption. Take with extra vitamin C and vitamin-C rich foods for an extra powerful punch.
- Foods such as salmon, nuts, seeds, turmeric, and ginger contain beneficial anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce excess histamine.
- Foundational nutrients such as a high-quality whole-foods multivitamins, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, and vitamin D3 are basic essential nutrients that help to support the body as a whole.