Have allergies been kicking your butt lately? Because, same!
It’s springtime, and while that means the return of warm weather and longer days, it also marks the return of seasonal allergies for over 19.2 million adults in the U.S.
Also known as allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, people with allergies experience symptoms such as sneezing, nasal stuffiness, itchiness, and fatigue due to an allergen (pollen and dust mites are common culprits).
Allergies can be quite the burden in the spring. We like to go for peaceful walks in the nice weather, but the flower dust has other plans. Medicine does work, but it doesn’t last long. Masks become a 10/10 accessory in shielding us from breathing in pollen, but they don’t completely fix the problem. What else is there to do?
You might be surprised to find the answer is as simple as changing your diet.
What is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
Yes, the foods you eat can be a way to treat or prevent your seasonal allergies. A simple nutrition plan you can follow is an anti-inflammatory diet. This is where you limit your consumption of processed, refined foods and focus more on fresh, natural foods such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
So how does an anti-inflammatory diet fight off seasonal allergies?
First, let’s talk about inflammation. In general, inflammation can be good for the body because it is a natural component of the healing process. For example, when you get an injury or a bruise, your immune system responds by increasing blood flow to the injured area.
But inflammation also plays a role in worsening your allergic reactions. Allergens, such as pollen, cause inflammation of our nose and eyes – hence the runny nose, nasal congestion, and itchiness. An anti-inflammatory diet is full of polyphenols and other molecules that lesson the immune response to allergens like pollen.
Foods to Avoid When You Have Allergies
It’s a good idea to be aware of which foods cause inflammation so you can minimize your intake.
Inflammatory foods include:
- French fries
- Foods made with cooking oil
- Refined carbs
- Sugary sweets (donuts, candy, etc.)
- Processed meats
Foods to eat on an Anti-inflammatory Diet
Now let’s dive into foods that you CAN eat that fight inflammation and keep you from sneezing all day. Anti-inflammatory foods include:
- Berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)
- Dark chocolate
- Salmon & fatty fish
All of these foods contain some sort of anti-inflammatory element that helps to decrease your overall allergic reaction, whether that be reducing swelling or clearing up your sinuses.
If the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet are not a sign to eat healthily, then we don’t know what is. Fresh foods packed with nutrients and minerals can be a great natural treatment for your allergies. So for your next meal, try switching your fried foods with some strawberries.
For an extra dose of nutrition, try our ABC’s & 123’s multivitamins to get all the nutrients you need.