Spring for many people is the start of allergy season. Good nutrition year-round can give you the energy you need to care for others as well as yourself. But during allergy season, the right foods can also help you minimize your body’s response to allergens. For example:
- Salmon, flaxseed oil, walnuts, pecans, and hempseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, and there is evidence to suggest that omega-3s can help reduce inflammation of air passages.
- Onions, apples, citrus fruits, and broccoli contain quercetin, a bioflavonoid that can inhibit the body’s release of histamines, reducing allergic reactions.
- Water — staying hydrated will thin mucus while hydrating your mucous membranes.
- Fruit and fruit juices (as long as they are not loaded with high-fructose corn syrup) are rich in antioxidants that can reduce inflammation. Berries are particularly rich in antioxidants.
- Spinach, sunflower seeds, pinto beans, and artichokes are high in magnesium. Some studies have linked a lack of magnesium to asthma. Adding magnesium to your diet may ward off asthma symptoms by relaxing the muscles around the bronchial tubes.
You also might want to consider cutting back on certain foods during allergy season, such as:
- Dairy and eggs — proteins from these foods increases mucus production.
- Red meat — too much protein can irritate the immune system.
- Corn and wheat — these contain omega-6 fatty acids, which can increase inflammation.
For best results, be sure to be proactive. Start treatment now, before allergy season is in full swing and before you notice symptoms.
And then, stick with it! Maintaining a diet rich in omega-3s, antioxidants, and magnesium is a good way to stay healthy all year long!