Birds, bees, flowers and trees…oh how I love springtime! However, I’ve had years where I’ve cursed the coming of spring sunshine due to the allergies it brings.
This year I’m very happy to be allergy free so far. I’ve tried the approach of eating my antihistamines, and it seems to be working so far.
Building a strong immune system and eating certain foods with high concentrations of natural antihistamines can prevent and help treat allergy symptoms, rather than just mask them as allergy drugs do. Below is a list of things that can help prevent and alleviate the torture allergy season can bring on.
My favorite way to get a bunch of these allergy fighting foods into my body is with a smoothie every morning. My tasty anti-allergy smoothie recipe is at the bottom of this post. I also incorporate fresh, raw foods from the lists below into as many meals as possible throughout the day.
This winter and spring I’ve paid close attention to what I’m eating and have included some of the things listed below in my daily diet for many weeks. I’ve also cut down on foods that can cause inflammation, like dairy, sugar and wheat (though I have a really hard time with sugary snacks!)
I admit I still have my neti pot ready just in case my body decides to freak out and start oozing from my nose and eyes, but I’m holding onto faith that I’ll make it through the season sniffle free.
There are many options to try for natural allergy prevention and relief. It helps to get these built up in the body at least six weeks before allergy season, but they’re good for overall health so they may as well be eaten as often as possible, right?
Here are a few natural allergy fighters:
Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant that is an overall health superstar. You’ll get the highest concentration if you eat foods raw and fresh.
Some foods with Vitamin C: leafy greens (like chard, kale and watercress), bell peppers, brocolli, strawberries, citrus fruits (we can grow Meyer Lemons here!), apples, blueberries, parsely, and my new favorite – dandelion greens.
Omega-3 fatty acids (or EPA) have natural anti-inflammatory properties.Western medicine hasn’t found solid proof, but Omega 3′s are considered by some naturopaths to be another superstar for overall health.
Some foods with Omega 3′s: oily, cold water fish such as cod, herring, mackerel, salmon and sardines; flax seeds (can be found as oil, whole or ground), walnuts, almonds and avocados. (Get wild caught rather than farmed fish when possible).
Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory bioflavonoid that is becoming an anti-allergy superstar.
Some foods with Quercetin: garlic, red wine, apples, onions, grapefruit, tea, green vegetables, Turmeric (a tasty spice), and beans.
A note on nasal cleansing: Last year I used my funky little ceramic Neti Pot, which saved me when I thought I was going to sneeze my way to oblivion. Yes, it feels weird at first, and no, you won’t want to do this in a public bathroom, but I swear it helps relieve the agony of allergies! Make sure to fully understand the sterile saline solution for this before using.
Incorporating as many foods from the lists above may help prevent and avoid allergies not just to springtime allergens, but to things like mold and dust. They’re also just good foods to give to our bodies – most of these foods contain numerous vital vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy year-round.
As promised, here’s my anti-allergy smoothie recipe - I use all organic ingredients and I pick the greens from my garden…
- 3 fresh kale leaves
- 4-8 lemon balm leaves
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh carrot-apple-ginger juice (enough to make the smoothie smooth, any juice or milk alternative works)
- sprinkle of cinnamon, more if I’m feeling spicy
- 1 -ish tablespoons of ground flax
- 1/2 – 1 cup of frozen blueberries and/or strawberries
- 1/4 inch of chopped, fresh ginger
- 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon juice (I cut it from the skin so I get all the goodness)
- a few sprigs of fresh parsely
- a small handful of chopped walnuts
- a teaspoon of molasses (great source of iron and sweetness)
- pinches of lemon thyme and rosemary
- handful of fresh, young dandelion greens (if you pick them – make sure it’s not in a high foot, dog or car traffic area and make sure to wash them)
Blend all ingredients together thoroughly and enjoy your anti-allergy deliciousness!
Thank you to these sources for help with my list:
Do you suffer from allergies? What do you do to fight them?