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Nutrition to tackle summer allergies
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Nutrition to tackle summer allergies

Post by on Sunday, May 8, 2022

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Nasal allergies and asthma mark the beginning of summer in many parts of India and, along with indoor pollutants like dust mites and mould, trigger bouts of sneezing, sniffling, runny nose water and itchy eyes, and a persistent dry, itchy throat, and hacking cough that varies in intensity from one day to the next, depending on the level of exposure to the pollutant.

Exposure to allergens lead to a range of diseases, from rhinitis (runny nose), red and watery eyes, dermatitis (skin rash), urticaria (skin welts), mouth and gastrointestinal problems, life-threatening asthma attacks, and anaphylaxis shock, which is an acute allergic reaction that can kill within minutes.

Allergies can occur when people have a hyperactive immune system that overreacts when exposed to an allergen, producing antibodies called Immunoglobin E (IgE) that cause cells to release chemicals that cause allergy symptoms. People who have more types of IgE antibodies develop allergic reactions to multiple allergens.

Sneezing, itching eyes, runny nose, general misery, allergy season is upon us. Seasonal allergies affect about 60 million people over all the world. If its pretty likely that you fall into that group. Look at how diet can help reduce the severity of your allergy symptoms.


Avoid processed foods

Processed foods, such as refined grains and foods with added sugars and salt, are considered inflammatory foods. This means that they cause inflammation in body which can make allergy symptoms worse. Reduce the number of anti- inflammatory foods in your diet by swapping grains for whole, snacking on fresh fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods with added sugars.


Use olive oil

Vegetable oil and foods that have high amounts of trans fat such as margarine should be avoided for general health, not just to help ease allergy symptoms. Liquid, expeller pressed oils like olive oil and canola oil are better for your body. Olive oil contains heart healthy monounsaturated fats, carbohydrates and canola oil is very low in unhealthy saturated fats.


Eat more vitamin C

Vitamin C is a nutrient that’s considered anti-inflammatory, and therefore could help ease allergy woes. It’s easy to get more vitamin C in the spring months, as more fresh fruits and vegetables are available in season at your local markets. Pick berries, broccolis, tomatoes, and red peppers to snack on throughout the spring and summer.

It's important to note that only changing your diet will not completely get rid of allergy symptoms. All bodies respond differently to their environment, so always talk to your doctor before making any dietary changes.


Eating more Omega 3s

Omega 3 fatty acids, whether they come from fish or from walnuts, flaxseeds, or from fish oil capsule have anti-inflammatory properties. We know they are beneficial to overall health and since allergies have to do with inflammation, it makes sense that they might be helpful in this area, as well. According to Research data study, a diet high in alpha-linoleic acid – a type of omega-3 found in nuts and seeds was associated with decreased prevalence of allergy symptoms.


Adding probiotics to diet

Yogurt and other foods that contain probiotics bacteria help maintain the microbiome of the intestinal, and they tend to be anti-inflammatory as well. There is a little evidence that these foods can be helpful for treating allergies.

Research study indicates that found people with mild to moderate allergies reported few nasal symptoms and better quality of life after taking a supplement containing the probiotics lactobacilli and bifidobacterial.


Getting more fruits and vegetables

Aside from those rare cases of oral allergy symptoms, however fruits and veggies are probably one of the best ways you can fight seasonal allergies with food. Why?

They’re packed with antioxidants like Vitamin C, a natural antihistamine and immune booster that can help the body fight off allergies and keep you from getting sick on top of seasonal symptoms.


Foods that trigger seasonal allergies

Some foods we eat may lower our immune system and cause disruption to our normal gut bacteria, decreasing the body’s ability to fight off potential allergens, such as ragweed and pollen. By eliminating or reducing consumption of these inflammatory foods, one can potentially reduce the severity of their seasonal allergies.


1. Gluten

Many of the unpleasant symptoms of seasonal allergies are caused by inflammation. Reducing gluten in the diet may help to alleviate this inflammatory response. Gluten is the general name for the proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. Research has shown that gluten can cause inflammation in the body, specifically in the gut.

If consuming gluten triggers an immune response, then reducing amounts of gluten containing foods may theoretically calm the immune system, including seasonal allergies. Common gluten containing foods include breads, pastas and cereal.


2. Dairy

Sneezing, congestion and phlegm production are common symptoms of seasonal allergies. Dairy has long been thought to increase production of mucous and cause inflammation in the sinuses and nasal passages. Some research has shown that reducing dairy may help. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that diary intake was linked to ongoing low-grade inflammation.

The results on dairy and allergies aren’t clear however, as it seems the beneficial probiotics in yogurt may actually be helpful in reducing inflammation and allergy symptoms.


3. Sugar

It’s not uncommon to crave sweets when feeling miserable, but you might want to rethink that frosted donut. Why? Refined sugars is one of the biggest culprits of inflammation in the body and consumption has been linked to a variety of respiratory issues, including asthma and bronchitis.


4. Alcohol

Seasonal allergies symptoms are triggered by the release of histamines from our immune system. Histamines are a group of chemicals, which cause inflammation, leading to itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion.

Another source of histamines? Alcohol. Wine, beer and liquor all contain these pro-inflammatory compounds. A study consisting of women only, found that alcohol intake was positively associated with the risk of developing allergic rhinitis. Another study found that moderate to heavy alcohol consumption was associated with allergic rhinitis in both men and women. Bottom line: Choose non-alcoholic beverages during peak allergy season to help prevent symptoms


5. Pollen Containing Foods

If your seasonal allergies are caused by ragweed, avoid certain foods may help. Melon, cucumber, banana, zucchini and sunflower seeds actually contain pollen that is similar to ragweed.

Avoiding these foods if you have a ragweed allergy can help alleviate many of the
symptoms of seasonal allergies


Bottom line:

The blooming season of spring is meant to be enjoyed, but seasonal allergies can be a real nuisance. While avoiding or including specific foods in your diet won’t completely cure your symptoms, it may help to make them more manageable. By reducing the amounts of foods that may trigger seasonal allergies and increasing those that fight inflammation, you can better prepare for seasonal allergies.

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