By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
Springtime is in full bloom here in the US which means beautiful blossoms but for many of us, dreaded seasonal allergies. These allergies often flare up with the change of season leaving you sneezing, coughing and feeling under the weather. Before you bust out another box of tissues or over the counter allergy medication, consider this amazing day to day benefit of eating and drinking more fruits and veggies – less pesky allergy symptoms! A few Rebooters even share how the Reboot helped to relieve seasonal congestion in our One Year Anniversary video.
And they may not be alone. Seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, affect 1 out of 5 Americans. The condition is an immune response to allergens in the environment like pollen, ragweed, mold, dust and pet hair. We know that fruits and veggies can be good for our immune system in a variety of ways and research shows that ingesting more of these gems can also help protect us against seasonal allergies.
One study in Japan found that those who ate more seaweed and mineral-rich foods containing calcium (like broccoli and kale), magnesium (like swiss chard/silverbeet) and phosphorus (like almonds and lentils) were less likely to suffer from allergic rhinitis.
Another study showed that higher blood levels of carotenoids in participants (like beta carotene in carrots and lycopene in tomatoes) may have helped guard them from developing seasonal allergies.
In children living in Crete, researchers found that those kids who ate more fruits and vegetables in the context of a Mediterranean diet were better protected against both asthma and seasonal allergies.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, integrative therapies like acupuncture, homeopathy, other forms of traditional chinese medicine, and certain dietary supplements and herbs may offer additional relief from hay fever and seasonal allergies.
If you do suffer from allergies it’s important to be mindful that certain fruits and vegetables may aggravate the condition. This is known as oral allergy syndrome that people often describe as an “itchy throat,” which mimics allergic rhinitis, like when eating foods such as apples or peaches. Interestingly this symptom may be due to pesticides often found on the skin of these fruits not because of the fruits themselves.
Have you noticed relief from seasonal allergies this spring while drinking fresh juice or during your reboot? We’d love to hear your stories!