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Must Know: What to Eat for Your Seasonal Discomfort!


Did you know that your food choice can have an impact on the severity of your seasonal discomfort? Well surprisingly it can! At QOL your health is our priority so we would like to share with you the best and worst foods to eat during the change in season.

Here are some foods that are known to help with symptoms of seasonal discomfort and to have anti-inflammatory effects:

  • Onions, cabbage and apples – these all contain quercetin which is a compound that gives some fruits and vegetables a reddish color. Quercetin is known to stabilize mast cells, those cells that pump out histamines as your body reacts to an allergen. Consuming quercetin regularly can have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Bell peppers, brussels sprouts and broccoli – these vegetables are all high in Vitamin C, so they should be your best friends during the spring. Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine. Although citrus fruits may be high in Vitamin C - you should steer clear of them this time of year because they can upset histamine pathways and create more mucus.
  • Salmon, sardines and mackerel – these fatty fish can beat back allergen-induced inflammation through omega-3 fatty acids!
  • Magnesium-rich foods – foods high in magnesium, such as almonds, cashews, wheat bran, and kelp are all excellent foods for relief this time of year because magnesium is a bronchodilator and an antihistamine.

It is also important to recognize that some foods can make your symptoms even worse! Here is a list of foods you should avoid when the pollen count is high:

  • Dairy Foods – ideally, mucus should be clear and runny to help your body get rid of allergens. When mucus thickens, it doesn’t travel through your body well, and allergens become trapped inside your body rather than being cleared out through your nose or mouth. Milk and dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, make mucus feel thicker which can cause an irritation in your throat.
  • Foods that promote histamine – certain foods – especially ones that have been fermented – contain or may cause your body to produce histamine that you naturally release when fighting allergens. Histamine causes seasonal symptoms, such as sneezing, wheezing, and itching of the eyes and nose. Avoiding foods that are rich in histamine may help the amount of histamine that your body releases – which may reduce the seasonal symptoms you experience.
  • Alcohol – We know it’s hard, but when the spring season is in full effect you should try to limit your alcohol consumption. Alcohol contains natural histamines – which can trigger those pesky symptoms you want to avoid.
  • Wheat and glutinous grains – these will stress and strain the digestive system. During this time of year this strain could increase your sensitivity to other things such as pollen.
  • Sugar – glucose is known to compete for uptake with vitamin C, which is a natural anti-histamine. The more sugar we consume, the less Vitamin C we will absorb, weakening out immune function.

Knowing what to eat this time of year can be tricky – but if you follow these guidelines you can be confident that you are doing all that you can to minimize your seasonal discomfort!

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