The number of people affected by seasonal allergies continues to grow. Research indicates that certain nutrients and probiotics may help prevent allergy symptoms!
Whether it's spring or fall, the weather is typically pleasant with moderate temperatures. However, these times of year may come with seasonal allergies which can make life miserable for those who suffer from them. Symptoms like sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and watery eyes can make it hard to enjoy the outdoors and even disrupt daily activities.
There are many over the counter and prescription medications available to help relieve allergy symptoms, but some people prefer to take a more natural approach. One such approach is to incorporate foods into your diet that can help prevent seasonal allergy symptoms. The key is to eat these foods on a daily basis for prevention. Check out the list below and add a variety of these foods to your weekly grocery list.
Include These Foods to Prevent Seasonal Allergies
Citrus Fruits: Foods that are high in vitamin C, such as oranges, grapefruits, and kiwi, can help reduce inflammation in the body and boost the immune system. This can be especially helpful during allergy season, as inflammation and immune system dysfunction are major contributors to allergy symptoms.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in foods like fatty fish (e.g., salmon, tuna, mackerel), walnuts, and flaxseed, omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Eating these foods regularly can help reduce inflammation in the body and improve overall health, which may help reduce allergy symptoms.
Quercetin: Onions, berries, grapes, apples, broccoli, and tea are good sources of quercetin. This compound has been shown to block the production and release of histamine and other inflammatory substances in the body.
Leafy greens: Foods like spinach, kale, and collard greens are packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Eating a variety of leafy greens can help improve overall health and may help reduce allergy symptoms as well.
Nuts: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews are high in magnesium, which has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body. Eating a handful of nuts as a snack or adding them to salads or other meals can be a great way to incorporate this important nutrient into your diet.
Spices: Certain spices like turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce allergy symptoms. Adding these spices to your meals or drinking turmeric or ginger tea regularly can be a helpful addition.
Probiotic-rich foods: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the gut and help regulate the immune system. Eating foods that are rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi, can help promote a healthy gut microbiome and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
A Diet That Supports Gut Health May Reduce Seasonal Allergies
In addition to including the foods listed above, eating a diet to promote a healthy microbiome may reduce your risk for seasonal allergies. Research shows that imbalances in the gut microbiome (i.e., dysbiosis) have been linked to an increase in seasonal allergies in both adults and children. In addition, several digestive disorders (IBS, functional dyspepsia, and constipation) have been associated with an increase in risk of having seasonal allergies.
A gut-friendly diet includes nutrient-dense fresh whole foods and is limited (or free of) processed foods. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein (including fish at least twice weekly), legumes, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil. For more information on a gut-friendly diet, check out the blog article "Want to Improve Your Health? Start With Your Gut."
The Bottom Line
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, talk to your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment. In addition to seeking proper healthcare advice, consider choosing healthier foods as described above to help reduce, or potentially eliminate, allergy symptoms.
If you need help with incorporating diet and lifestyle strategies to support the gut microbiome and your body's ability to fight seasonal allergies, consult a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is familiar with this area of research. You may also book an Introductory Call with Kirkman Nutrition to discuss program/services that may help you.
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