“Seasons change and with them so do we!” This anonymous quote might be used in a philosophical context but has physiological relevance too. Our body’s immune systems take a toll and take a hit with changing seasons, more so for people with seasonal allergies caused by pollen, infamously known as hay fever.
Especially with the heat waves raging across the sub-continent, the last thing we need is to be in a dilemmatic situation of having a cold during summers because it leads to further inflammation which is very risky in terms of health. Tweaking dietary intake helps to battle the sneezing and runny nose and reduces the need to take antihistamines or allergy treatments by strengthening the body’s immune system. Dietician Vidhi Chawla, Founder of Fisico Diet Clinic, lists a few foods that will help the seasonal allergies.
Citrus Fruits for Seasonal Allergies
Tangerines, oranges, grapes, lemons and sweet limes and all the other available summer sources of vitamin C work as excellent sources of antihistamines and help relieve the nasal passages and blocked sinuses as well.
Almonds to Help with Seasonal Allergies
Rich in vitamin E which helps the body with its immunity, it also has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to clear the airway in the body.
Walnuts & Flaxseeds Relief Seasonal Allergies
Flaxseeds contain a mineral called selenium which helps the body in reducing seasonal allergic responses. Moreover, it is also a good source of naturally found Omega-3 along with walnuts. They stimulate the release of DHA and EPA, which help in decreasing the bodily symptoms of seasonal allergies
A flavonoid present in various fruits, quercetic naturally reduces the inflammation associated with allergies. It does this by preventing the immune cells from releasing the allergic histamines. Quercetin is present in tea leaves, onions, cabbage, berries and cauliflower.
Yoghurt contains probiotics and bacteria which help in reducing the symptoms of seasonal allergies and the pollen that the body reacts to. These bacteria also help with inflammation.
Food such as cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, and spinach contain high levels of magnesium which help with inflammation by opening up and relaxing the muscles during an allergic episode. Hence, intake of magnesium is beneficial for the overall reduction of reactions happen due to seasonal allergies.
Vitamin C for Seasonal Allergies
Multivitamins are not as efficient as eating from the direct source of vitamin C such as strawberries, red peppers, garlic and broccoli. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in controlling the body’s allergic reactions. It is also important to note that citrus fruits aren’t the only source of vitamin C and other vegetables equally help in providing the necessary nutrients and minerals.
Other Foods to Help With Seasonal Allergies
Among other foods, fish can help a lot. Granted that it is a very exclusive option, but fish contain Omega-3, which has very strong anti-allergen properties. The fat in the fish is considered a healthy fat and contains DHA and EPA, both of which help in reducing the symptoms of allergic reactions.
While we now know what should be consumed, it is equally important to be aware of what not to consume. Generally, it is a good idea to stay away from alcohol, processed food, excess sugar, raw food and spicy food if you are somebody who is very vulnerable.
Supercharge Your Life With Superfoods!
A major defence against the challenges of these times is to keep ourselves healthy and well. Superfoods – rich in antioxidants, fibres and fatty acids beneficial to health – are obvious additions to our diet. Fermented foods (kombucha, yoghurt, brined cucumbers and kimchi),seeds, nuts (and nut butters and oils), green tea, leafy greens and avocado are so yesterday.
Add these five new superfoods to your list:
Moringa powder (main image) comes from the drumstick tree, and helps manage blood sugar, stabilise histamine production, and is a natural energy booster. Sprinkle onto smoothies and yoghurt.
Maqui berries brim with antioxidants, boost metabolism, and help regulate gut health and blood sugar. Add the powder to your smoothies.
Kamut (or khorasan wheat or Pharaoh grain) is an ancient grain full of fibre and protein, as well as essential minerals such as magnesium, manganese and selenium. Substitute for wheat flour.
Tiger nuts are a great source of dietary fibre, protein, potassium, magnesium, helping with digestion and
to manage kidney and menstrual health. Use in the form of flour or milk.
Chaga mushrooms are high in fibre, help regulate gut health, soothe bowel inflammation, and support the immune system. Enjoy as a snack.