What to Eat if You Have Seasonal Allergies

cucumber salad
Photo Credit: Joe Lingeman / Kitchn

May 11, 2021

By Lauren Paige

If you have seasonal allergies, each spring is the same sneezy, sniffly story. While there are plenty of over-the-counter medicines to treat allergy symptoms, you might be able to find some relief right in your kitchen pantry.

Some foods can help boost your immune system and build resistance so you’re less susceptible to seasonal allergens like pollen, birch, ragweed, and mugwort; others can help reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms.

Read on for what to eat if you have seasonal allergies. 

1. Turmeric

Tumeric‘s active ingredient curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory effects. It may help reduce symptoms like swelling and irritation from allergens like seasonal grass or ragweed pollen. 

How to get it: Luckily, turmeric is as versatile as it is powerful: You can stir it into curries, blend it into smoothies, even turn it into popsicles! Just be sure to mix your turmeric with black pepper, which increases the bioavailability of curcumin.

salmon patties
Photo Credit: Nadine Greef

2. Fatty Fish 

Fish is full of everyone’s favorite omega-3 fatty acids, which are swimming in anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown eating a high level of omega-3s can help reduce respiratory inflammation from asthma and hay fever

How to get it: Enjoy all the many health benefits of fish and decrease your seasonal allergy risk by eating two servings of fatty fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, or trout per week. 

zucchini and red onions
Photo Credit: Spices in My DNA

3. Onions

Hidden under those layers, onions contain quercetin, a natural antihistamine. Even better, one raw red onion a day is all you need to get the allergy symptom-reducing benefits

How to get it: Whip up this tasty Marinated Zucchini and Red Onions from Spices in My DNA and you’re set!

greek lemon chicken soup
Photo Credit: Damn Delicious

4. Citrus

There’s no off-season for vitamin C. Eating foods high in vitamin C may shorten the duration of seasonal colds and reduce the severity of pollen allergy symptoms. But, what you may not know is that citrus fruits have another superpower up their sleeve. Their essential oils may have an anti-histamine effect that can help relax nasal passages.

How to get it: Use a lemon squeezer, like this one, to make sure you get the benefits of the juice and the essential oils. If you’re feeling particularly under the weather, make this Greek Lemon Chicken Soup from Damn Delicious.

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