Spring is in full swing, and so are spring allergies! Many people with outdoor allergies think they are scot-free when it comes to food
Spring is in full swing, and unfortunately for allergy sufferers, so are spring allergies! Many people with outdoor allergies think they are scot-free when it comes to food allergies but unfortunately that is not always the case. Did you know that people with outdoor allergies may experience similar allergic reactions after consuming certain foods, especially at times of the year when a particular outdoor allergen is present? Allergists say certain foods trick our immune systems into thinking they are being exposed to pollen, molds and other environmental allergens.
For instance, bananas, cantaloupes, and honeydew can cause symptoms for ragweed sufferers. Those sensitive to tree pollen might find avoiding almonds, apples, celery, potatoes, peaches, nuts and carrots lessens their allergic response; while tomatoes, oranges, and melons can set off grass pollen allergies.
Mold allergies are more complicated, as mold is virtually omnipresent in the environment. Mold is necessary for digesting or breaking down materials and returning them to the environment- this is the same process by which mold grows and spreads- releasing tiny spores into the air. Mold grows quickly in moist dark spaces, such as basements, and piles of rotting leaves.
Certain foods are more likely to contain mold, or spoil easily and therefore set off a mold allergic reaction including: cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, foods containing vinegar, yeast breads/baked goods (most breads contain yeast), fermented alcoholic beverages- beer and wine, sauerkraut, pickled and smoked meats/fish, dried fruit and dried meats like jerky, soy sauce, and more.
If you have outdoor allergies, it would definitely benefit you to avoid the foods mentioned above as doctors say those foods trick the immune system into thinking they are being exposed to pollen. Remember, the odd thing about food-related allergies is that some of these foods might cause problems one day but not much of a problem on another day. This is due to your body's response to particular allergens present in the environment.
What foods help your body combat environmental allergens?
Green tea is high in antioxidants which help keep inflammation at bay. Green tea also contains a natural compound that helps block one of the receptors that is key in triggering the allergic response.
Omega-3 rich foods such as, salmon, haddock, herring, and sardines as well as flaxseed, walnuts and chia (or salba) seeds, are beneficial in fighting allergies, as omega-3s are a natural anti-inflammatory - countering the formation of inflammatory chemicals formed during an allergic reaction.
Vitamin E rich foods are also excellent for allergy prone individuals. Greens such as spinach, chard, kale and mustard greens are all very high in Vitamin E. Sunflower seeds contain around 90 percent of the recommended daily intake; while almonds, olives, papaya, and fresh blueberries are also high in vitamin E.
Including these foods on your shopping list can help combat allergies year-round.