Foods to Keep Your Allergies at Bay

April 06, 2019

"The foods you eat play a significant role in the intensity of your seasonal allergy symptoms."

Seasonal allergies can wreak havoc on your body, especially when it comes to inflaming your joints. And believe it or not, the foods you eat when you are experiencing allergy-triggered inflammation can amplify the situation.

Today, Dr. Nancy, PhD, holistic nutritionist, is going to talk about what seasonal allergies actually are, and how specific cross-related allergens found in everyday natural foods can really intensify your seasonal allergies. Plus, what you can do to keep your seasonal allergies in check!

Video Highlights

  • 01:59: The food you eat can aggravate your allergies
  • 03:51: What seasonal allergies are and what causes them
  • 07:15: The foods that make your allergies worse are all in their raw and natural form
  • 08:30: Oral Allergy Syndrome is caused by cross-reacting allergens found in pollen & raw fruits, vegetables & nuts
  • 09:10: There are 3 major pollens that contribute to seasonal allergies
  • 09:48: Foods to avoid if you're allergic to birch pollen
  • 10:38: Foods to avoid if you're allergic to grass pollen
  • 11:10: Foods to avoid if you're allergic to ragweed
  • 12:30: Inflammation plays a major role in seasonal allergies
  • 13:47: 6 simple, natural solutions

April showers bring May flowers...

...and May flowers bring on seasonal allergies. Spring has sprung, the birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming. The grass is turning greener and the trees are budding.

And for nearly 20 million Americans, the arrival of Spring means itchy, scratchy throats, watery eyes, sneezing, mucus build-up, nasal congestion, and more icky symptoms. Many people experience an increase in allergy symptoms during allergy season, especially when pollen counts are super high, while for some the symptoms are mild--just sneezing and stiffness. Some experience joint, back, and neck pain brought on by allergy-triggered inflammation.

The foods you eat during this time are super important, because they can play a significant role in the intensity of your seasonal allergy symptoms. Seasonal allergies can aggravate inflammation, so keep reading to find out what you can do about it.

What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies are allergies to specific airborne substances, such as pollen, or mold spores, that only appear during certain times of the year. You may be more familiar with the term "hay fever". However the term tends to be a little misleading. While the pollen in grasses making up hay are present in the summer, and do cause allergies, they do not cause the fever, and are not the only airborne substances contributing to seasonal allergies. several other pollens and mold spores are major contributors.

The pollens and mold spores that cause seasonal allergies vary by season as well as geographic location. 

There are specific foods that can actually make your allergies worse, and it may come as a surprise, but most of these foods are raw and natural... foods that are normally healthy! They include fruits, vegetables, and even nuts and seeds.

Oral Allergy Syndrome

Oral Allergy Syndrome, sometimes called Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome, is caused by cross-reacting allergens found in pollen, and raw fruits, vegetables, and some tree nuts. OAS is so prevalent that doctors estimate that nearly 75% of the people affected by seasonal allergies are also experiencing OAS. 

There are three major pollens that contribute to seasonal allergies: tree pollen, grass pollen, and ragweed. Most of the foods contributing to OAS are related to one of these three pollens. Here are some examples.

Birch Pollen

If you are allergic to birch pollen, eating the following foods will aggravate your allergies:

  • Apples
  • Walnuts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Hazelnuts
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums

Grass Pollen

If you are allergic to grass pollen, avoid the following foods that can make you feel worse:

  • Celery
  • Oranges
  • Melons
  • Peaches
  • Tomatoes

Ragweed

If you are allergic to ragweed, here are the foods that are not your friends during allergy season. 

  • Bananas
  • Cucumbers
  • Melons
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Zucchinis

When these foods are eaten in their raw, natural form, your immune system can recognize them as an allergen similar to the pollen that these foods react to, and it can react by causing an allergic response: sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, congestion, and aches.

Now if you've watched our videos before, you know how damaging inflammation is to your health, from your head to your toes. Inflammation plays a major role in seasonal allergies. Nearly every one of the most common allergy symptoms develop as a result of unchecked inflammation caused by our own immune systems' attempt to protect the body from stimuli it thinks are attempting to attack us. 

In this case, the foreign pathogens are cross-related allergens contributing to our seasonal allergies. If you are experiencing more intense allergy symptoms after eating the foods we mentioned here, it's best to avoid them altogether. That might not be the answer you were hoping to hear, but there's good news!

Simple, Natural Solutions to Ease Allergy Discomfort

Get your spicy food fix

Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, garlic, and ginger are all healthy, delicious ways to thin out the mucus, as well as to support your immune system and provide natural decongestant support. 

Eat the rainbow

During allergy season, look for fresh, organic, colorful vegetables, including purple cabbages, red beets, and dark leafy greens. Swiss chard in particular is loaded with quercetin, a natural compound that reduces inflammation. These can ease the symptoms of seasonal allergies.

Daily Curcumin

Since seasonal allergies lead to an increased level of inflammation in your body, this is important! Curcumin is the active compound extracted from turmeric root. It has many important health benefits, including minimizing the damaging effects of inflammation throughout the body.

Manuka Honey

A spoonful of Manuka Honey makes the allergens go down! This honey is made with the very pollen that causes your allergies. Eating a daily dose of raw local honey or Manuka honey has been shown to make you less sensitive to the pollen that is causing you discomfort. For best results, experts recommend local honey collected within 100 miles of your location to relieve watery eyes, nasal congestion, and other symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Eat it right out of the jar, mix it with your favorite yogurt, or stir it into your afternoon tea. 

Fermented, probiotic-rich foods

Load up on kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Time and time again probiotic-rich foods have been shown to support gut health and strengthen your immune system, including how your system responds to allergens. Smarter Gut Health formula is also helpful for balancing the bacteria in your gut and boost the immune system.

Stay hydrated

Hydration is a major key to warding off allergies. Proper hydration thins out the mucus that is building up in your body and relieves many of the symptoms of seasonal allergies. In fact, studies continue to demonstrate that your body actually responds to dehydration by producing higher histamine levels, which makes you more inflamed and makes your allergy symptoms worse. In addition to drinking enough water each day, add bone broth, vegetable broth, and apple cider vinegar to your diet. These have all been shown to break up mucus, reduce inflammation, and support immune health. Make sure you consume enough liquids every day to stay hydrated and healthy.

The Bottom Line

Nearly 30% of the population suffers from symptoms of seasonal allergies. In addition, the cross-allergens found in several of the foods we eat on a daily basis can contribute to Oral Allergy Syndrome. Fortunately, following the steps above can minimize the effects of OAS. 

You don't have to let seasonal allergies slow you down. Eat your spoonful of honey, and enjoy the Spring weather!

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