Combat Spring Allergies with Diet
For some, this beautiful time of year can be a nightmare. Trees, flowers and grasses are in full bloom, but so are the sinuses and even asthma for many folks. Most allergy sufferers reach for their favorite prescription medication, when in many cases allergy symptoms could be reduced significantly or altogether through a few dietary changes.
Let’s backup for just a minute. During the winter months, our bodies become depleted, congested and even inflamed. The adrenal glands become fatigued and can’t quell the inflammation. Healthy adrenals act as a natural steroid to reduce inflammation and allergic reactions in the body. Furthermore, the liver is so congested that it can’t process toxins efficiently and they build up in our body. As a result, our immune systems tend to react more to the environment than normal and produce excess histamines that the body can’t keep up with for long without experiencing symptoms. Spring allergies are a perfect example of this.
This is one of the reasons why detoxification is so important this time of year. I have had clients forget they even had spring allergies while detoxing. The moment they eat those trigger foods after the detox, allergy symptoms came back with a vengeance. For more information about detoxification, please check out this post.
If you have spring allergies, I recommend you stick to a whole foods diet full of fruits and vegetables. Cut processed foods out and avoid or significantly reduce the following:
- flour and products made with flour
- coffee and black tea
If you still don’t find relief, you may need to consider a low-histamine diet for a period of time during the height of the allergy season. You will need to avoid the following:
- Meat, especially processed, cured, smoked and fermented meats
- Fish (unless the fish is freshly caught, gutted and cooked within a 1/2 hour of eating)
- Eggs (a small quantity used as binder for a dish is okay)
- Fermented milk products such as cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir
- Citrus fruits
- Fruits such as apricots, cherries, cranberries, currants, dates, grapes, pineapples, prunes, raisins, strawberries
- Tomatoes and tomato products such as ketchup
- Red Beans
- Soy and soy products
- Pickles, relishes and other vinegar containing foods
- Food additives
- Food preservatives such as benzoates and sulphites
- Spices such as anise, cinnamon, cloves, chili powder, curry powder and nutmeg
- Fermented foods (such as soy sauce, sauerkraut and miso)
Experiment with these suggestions and see if your symptoms improve this allergy season!
In addition, I have found the following supplements to be helpful for spring allergy suffers:
- nettles (a combination of capsule, tincture and tea can be very helpful)
- vitamin C
- B complex
- licorice root (be careful – if overused can increase blood pressure)
- local honey
I personally take Design for Health’s Quercetin & Nettles formula. If you’re interested in trying it, shoot me an email and I’ll send you my ordering code.
The trick with these supplements is that you need to start taking them about a month before allergy season kicks in so they have time to build up in your system. In addition to foods and supplements, it’s important to get the body moving daily to process those allergens and other toxins! Also, I recommend rinsing your nasal passages with a neti pot regularly.
Have you identified any foods that trigger your spring allergies? Are there any natural remedies that you have used to soothe your allergies that you would like to share? Please feel free to comment below.