Springtime is here at last, and the whole world is in bloom. Beautiful flowers are springing up everywhere. The trees are lush and verdant. Birds are singing and you may see some rabbits in your lawn. Unfortunately, springtime also brings pollen, and pollen brings allergies.
That infamous yellow dust is the cause of all sorts of seasonal unpleasantries; stuffy noses, sore throats, and itchy eyes. While over-the-counter remedies are certainly available, they are not always effective for everyone. Some cause drowsiness, while others leave you unable to sleep at the end of the day.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat your seasonal allergies at home, naturally. The foods we eat play a big part in our allergen response, and adding these foods to your diet can help relieve both cause and symptoms.
1) Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. We all know vitamin C can boost your immune system against microbial pathogens, but did you you know it can help with allergies too? Research suggests that vitamin C also functions as an antihistamine – a compound that serves to block the body’s allergen response. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and inflammatory, meaning it can help relieve the irritation and inflammation allergies cause. This makes citrus fruits one of the best choices for fighting seasonal allergies.
Ginger has been used as natural medicine for thousands of years. It’s been used to treat everything from nausea to asthma, so it’s no surprise ginger can help with allergies too. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties which can relieve some of the discomfort allergies cause. It may also help to suppress mass cell activation, which results in a less severe allergic response. Brewing fresh or powdered ginger into tea is a cozy and convenient way to add more of this amazing root to your diet.
3) Local Honey
Local honey has been touted as a seasonal allergy remedy for years, and with good reason. Honey contains small amounts of the pollen used to make it – the same pollen that your body is reacting to. Ingesting small amounts of pollen local to your area can help inoculate your body against its allergenic effects. Martindale’s offers many different local honey options from nearby beekeepers. Bee pollen is also a great shout, as it inoculates the system in a similar way. Bee products in general are a great food for fighting seasonal allergies.
4) Foods containing quercetin
Quercetin is a flavonoid – a type of organic compound found in plants. In scientific studies, quercetin has been shown to prevent immune cells from releasing allergy-causing histamines. This can in turn help reduce allergy symptoms. Quercetin is found in fruits like apples, berries, grapes, and leafy greens – all of which are rich other health-promoting vitamins and minerals. This combination of benefits makes quercetin-rich foods some of the best for fighting seasonal allergies.
5) Probiotic Foods
Our gut health impacts our overall health in almost every way. So, it’s no surprise that improving our gut health would have an impact on our allergy response. Studies suggest that increasing probiotic uptake may help curb allergies. The idea is that an influx of beneficial bacteria conditions the immune system to be more tolerant of foreign bodies, which includes pollen. Foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha are great ways to add more probiotics to your system.
If seasonal allergies are getting you down, give these foods a try. It might make a little easier to be outside enjoying the spring sunshine!