It’s spring right now, and that means there is a lot of pollen and other allergy triggers in the air. Many of us know to have our spring supplies ready – boxes of tissues, antihistamines and other medications. But did you know that changing your diet could impact your allergies in a huge way?
After all, allergies are nothing more than the body’s immune response against perceived invaders. Your body may encounter allergens like pollen, dust and dander, and think they pose a threat to you, so it starts reacting to protect you. When this happens, histamine and antibodies are released into your bloodstream to fight against the allergens, so you end up getting a bunch of unpleasant symptoms such as overproduction of mucus, or your throat closing up.
So eating a selection of healthy, whole foods can help your immune system to be stronger and cause fewer responses to allergens that shouldn’t really be allergens. Here are a few of those foods:
1. Pumpkin seeds
Why pumpkin seeds? They are chock full of magnesium. In fact, it only takes about a handful of pumpkin seeds to meet half your daily requirement of this mineral. The reason magnesium is important is because it is a muscle relaxer, so it can open up your airways for easier breathing.
Strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which studies have shown to have the ability to decrease histamine levels by over 38%, a whopping number. Other studies show that vitamin C deficiency can rapidly increase histamine levels. So as you can see, vitamin C is a big time booster for your immune system. If you lower your histamine levels, your allergy symptoms will also decrease.
Yogurt contains probiotics, or healthy gut bacteria, which is beneficial for your digestive system. In addition, when your digestive system is happy, your immune system also benefits. One study showed that people with allergies who drank a probiotic drink daily were found to have much lower levels of the antibodies that are responsible for triggering the nasty allergy symptoms. If you are allergic to dairy, you could consider a probiotic supplement, or other fermented foods that do not contain dairy, such as kefir or sauerkraut
So if you are suffering from allergies this spring, you may want to have yogurt with strawberries and pumpkin seeds every morning for breakfast!