If you have been experiencing symptoms like sneezing, itchy nose, congestion or watery eyes, it might be because of the season. Spring is the prime time of the year for seasonal allergies with about 20% to 30% Canadians suffering from them. While the blooming of flowers is beautiful, they may also be the source to your sinus struggles.
There are different treatments to fight or prevent allergies, some requiring special medications or allergy shots. But one of the most wholesome and natural ways is to fix what you eat. Your diet plays an important role in maintaining overall wellness. Whether it is the seasonal allergy, the flu or other types of diseases, changing your eating habits can aid in many kinds of illnesses.
To help stop Spring allergies, here are the key nutrients you need to load up on:
Allergies are the result of histamine – a chemical released when foreign substances invade the body, which leads to immediate immune responses such as hives, sneezing and watery eyes. Vitamin C is a well-known antihistamine and immune-boosting antioxidant.
If your average diet consists of 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, you are very unlikely to be Vitamin C deficient. But for those who need a little supplement boost, try rosehip! This herb is very rich in Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. Not only does it serve as an antioxidant, it also contains flavonoids, Vitamin E, and other nutrients that are essential in combating allergies.
Flavonoids are another effective antihistamine. Quercetin, in particular, contributes greatly to seasonal allergy relief. You can find it in many red-pigmented foods like apples, tomatoes, red peppers and even wine. Now you won’t have to feel too guilty about sipping that glass of red wine!
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID
Omega-3 fish oil supplements are quite popular for children as claims suggest they can help promote brain development. But even for adults, this nutrient is just as important. Omega-3 fatty acid contains various benefits from fighting allergies to lowering risks of heart disease. Although it is commonly found in fatty fish like salmon, for vegan eaters, chia, hemp and flaxseeds are great alternatives.
It is recommended to have between 1.3 to 2.7 g of Omega-3 ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) each day. Just 1 tablespoon of flaxseed provides you up to 2.4 g! You can add it to your smoothies, yogurts, cereals and almost any baking recipes you can find.
We have mentioned several times how histamine is the cause of allergy symptoms. Studies have discovered that Magnesium can reduce histamine levels and inflammation in the airways. However, despite following a healthy diet, Magnesium-deficiency is still prevalent in many individuals. Some common symptoms include muscle spasms, fatigue, anxiety and also allergies.
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and cashews are Magnesium superstars. 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds can supply up to 25% of its daily recommended dietary allowance!
There are many other herbs and spices with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties – turmeric is one. Named as a “Super Powder” and also one of the key food trends in 2018, turmeric has gained its fame for being an all-in-one solution to better health. This golden spice has the abilities to improve allergies, asthma and other lung problems. It reduces histamine levels, and contains curcumin – a compound that acts as a decongestant to relief nasal congestion.
To find out how turmeric is used, check out our blog here.