5 Foods To Help Fight Spring Allergies So You Can Actually Enjoy The Return Of The Warm Weather
Even though it's only February, I'm ready for the temperatures to start rising, the trees to begin growing green leaves, and — most of all — the beautiful spring flowers to blossom again. Spring is a season full of rebirth, but for some people, the time doesn't exactly make them feel more alive. I'm lucky enough not to have spring allergies, but I've been told that the symptoms can be truly miserable for those who are affected. Luckily, there are foods that can help to fight spring allergies, so you can celebrate the season with your favorite treats, rather than sniffle your way through these next few months.
The chilly outdoor temperatures might make it seem like spring is far off in the future, but don't let the frost on the ground and your breath in the air fool you. Technically speaking, in many places, spring allergies begin in February and last until the early summer, according to the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, meaning it's really not too early to prepare.
So what do you have to look out for during this season? Pollen allergies, usually called "hay fever," are triggered by trees, grasses, and leaves. They are generally the first spring allergies to hit, as per the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. These culprits can cause symptoms like a running or stuffy nose, sneezing, an itchy face, and watery eyes. Unfortunately, according to the foundation, "These light, dry grains easily find their way to your sinuses, lungs and eyes, making them hard to avoid." As per the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 8 percent of American adults deal with pollen allergies each year, so if you're no stranger to the springtime sniffles, you're definitely not alone.
Mayo Clinic lists allergy shots and medication as some of the potential ways to deal with uncomfortable allergy symptoms, but many experts suggest that certain foods can play a role in fighting allergies as well. Here are some tasty treats to check out this spring when you're feeling sniffly.
Dish Up Some Sweet Pineapple
"Pineapple is a great source of the enzyme bromelain," certified culinary nutritionist Neda Varbanova tells Elite Daily. "It can reduce nasal swelling and allergic reactions, especially associated with asthma."
If you can't find the fresh version of the spiky fruit at the grocery store, opt for a bag of the frozen stuff. I personally love adding it to smoothies for a little extra sweetness, or just snacking on the cold pieces straight out of the bag.
Tuna Is A Secret Powerhouse
Fatty fish like tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, says Varbanova, and that's a major advantage if you're trying to battle spring allergies. "Omega-3 fights inflammation and studies have shown that people who consume two servings per week have lower levels of hay fever," she explains.
In order to really help with inflammation, try eating two servings of the tasty fish per week, suggests Varbanova.
Chop Up Lots Of Onions
Onions can be a huge pain to chop up, thanks to their ability to instantly turn any cooking session into a crying session. But it might be worth it to throw on some goggles to protect your eyes and add them into your recipes, because apparently, they might help to soothe your allergy symptoms.
"The quercetin found in onions means that they’re an effective food to fight spring allergies," Caleb Backe, a certified health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics, tells Elite Daily. "Quercetin is a flavonoid that contains antioxidants, which act as a natural antihistamine. It blocks the production and release of compounds that play a role in your body’s allergic responses."
Sprinkle Turmeric On Everything
If you've never tried a golden milk latte, you're missing out, because they are absolutely delicious. You're also missing out on some potential allergy assistance, because turmeric (aka the main spice in golden milk) contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory chemical that prevents allergic responses and the release of histamine, according to Varbanova.
The orange spice doesn't just shine in a hot beverage, though. Varbanova suggests adding it to eggs, soups, salads, sauces, and pretty much any recipe you can think of. "Combining turmeric with black pepper increases its absorption, so it’s always good to cook with the two spices together," says the nutritionist. In a pinch, you can also take turmeric in supplement form.
When In Doubt, Sauerkraut
"We’re starting to understand the connections between gut flora and the immune system," Lisa Richards, nutritionist and creator of the Candida Diet, tells Elite Daily. "Eating foods that promote a healthy gut can help to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation," she explains, "both of which will help with spring allergies."
Sauerkraut has both anti-inflammatory and probiotic properties that make the fermented food a great topping to add to avocado toast, stir into a salad, or even just dip some crunchy chips into. However you eat it, it's sure to be tasty and help fight allergy congestion.