Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, general misery: allergy season is upon us. Seasonal allergies affect about 60 million people in the United States. It’s pretty likely that you fall into that group. Aside from medication, is there anything else you can do about your allergy symptoms? Yes! Let’s look at how diet can help reduce the severity of your allergy symptoms.
Avoid processed foods
Processed foods, such as refined grains and foods with added sugars and salt, are considered inflammatory foods. This means that they cause inflammation in the body, which can make allergy symptoms worse. Reduce the amount of inflammatory foods in your diet by swapping white grains for whole, snacking on fresh fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods with added sugars.
Focus on fish and plant-based protein
Some types of animal protein leads to inflammation in the body. Red meat, chicken, pork and diary all cause some kind of inflammation, which could make your allergy symptoms less tolerable. Some fish, such as salmon, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation in the body. If you’d rather focus on plant-based protein, choose beans, soy-based products such as tofu or tempeh, lentils or nuts.
Use olive oil
Vegetable oil and foods that have high amounts of trans fats such as margarine should be avoided for general health, not just to help ease allergy symptoms. Liquid, expeller-pressed oils like olive oil and canola oil are better for your body. Olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and canola oil is very low in unhealthy saturated fats.
Eat more vitamin C
Vitamin C is a nutrient that’s considered anti-inflammatory, and therefore could help ease allergy woes. It’s easy to get more vitamin c in the spring months, as more fresh fruits and vegetables are available in season at your local markets. Pick berries, broccoli, tomatoes and red peppers to snack on throughout the spring and summer.
It’s important to note that only changing your diet will not completely get rid of your allergy symptoms. All bodies respond differently to their environment, so always talk to your doctor before making any major dietary changes.
Do you have a natural remedy for allergies? Let us know in the comments!