Stay Sniffle Free This Allergy Season: 5 Foods That Fight Allergies
Written by Barb Biagioli
Our beloved spring has finally arrived! Spring is an opportunity to cleanse the mind and body from toxins, stress, and winter baggage. And with it, comes sunshine, greener pastures and garden blooms. This warmer weather season is known for being a time of renewal and rebirth – a time to detoxify and do a little spring cleaning. It also brings sneezing, sniffles, runny noses and watery eyes – those well-known symptoms of the spring and summer allergy season. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
With flowers in full bloom and the pollen forecast reaching new heights, you’re probably looking for a way to fight those springtime sniffles. Over the counter medications just can’t seem to get the job done and they come with a whole stash of undesirable side effects. Skip the sneezing and kick your allergies to the curb this season with antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods. You can fight your allergies with an arsenal of these potent plant foods straight from your kitchen.
Bromelain is an enzyme that is found in the core of pineapples and known for its ability to reduce inflammation, especially in the sinuses. Its anti-inflammatory properties are great for boosting the immune system and calming overactive airways. Add some pineapple to your morning smoothie or place atop your favorite acai bowl.
2. Berries + Broccoli
Quercetin is considered one of the most abundant antioxidants available to us through a variety of plant foods, helping to fight free radical damage, prevent inflammation and promote longevity. Known as a flavonoid that is found in high concentration in both berries and broccoli, quercetin is an anti-histamine hero. It’s anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic agents are superb in their ability to manage a number of inflammatory health problems. Add kale, broccoli, and berries to your snack routine, burritos or buddha bowls.
3. Bell Peppers
Vitamin C boosts the immune system and lowers histamine levels. Known as a natural anti-histamine, it’s a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that treats and reduce allergy symptoms. Citrus fruits, kiwi, and red bell pepper are all rich in Vitamin C.
Prioritize the quantity and quality of the probiotics you feed to your microbiome. Promoting that “good-for-the-gut” bacteria will improve the function of your immune system and reduce the response to allergens. Add in fermented foods like kimchi to boost the healthy bacteria in your gut while benefiting from the vitamins, fiber and antioxidants sourced from bok choy, cabbage, garlic and ginger included in each jar.
5. Collard Greens
Carotenoids include a powerhouse of protective antioxidants and anti-histamines. They fight inflammation and improve immune system activity. Carotenoid containing foods include carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, spinach, kale, sweet potato and collard greens. Try your hand at these fresh and filling collard green spring rolls.
Including a combination of bromelain, quercetin, vitamin C, carotenoids and probiotics in your daily diet is a powerhouse prescription for reducing your allergy symptoms and improving your health. Leading up to allergy season, increase your intake of these plant foods, decrease your consumption of inflammatory animal products, and consider how your lifestyle choices may be impacting your gut health and reactionary response to the spring season’s sunny skies and pollen powder.
You can use food to fight your allergies with a plant powered approach to your plate. By choosing whole foods and prioritizing high quality plant foods, you can support your body’s natural detoxification process, reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune system.
To truly see the benefits in your health, start by rotating these allergy fighting foods before the season and reap the rewards of reduced symptoms for the season.