Spring allergies got you down? Research suggests that following the right diet may help ease allergy symptoms in some people.
For example, clear soups can help thin mucus and clear nasal passages. Some studies suggest that the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus strain L-92, often added to yogurt or milk, may help ease Japanese cedar-pollen allergy. Vitamin C may help minimize many spring allergy symptoms.
Recommended Related to Allergies
At last, the first warm days of spring! Time to open the windows, pack away the winter coats, get out in the garden -- and head to the pharmacy to stock up on allergymedications. If you greet the arrival of spring each year with a stuffy nose and watery eyes instead of a happy heart, it's time to take a new look at your seasonal allergies. You may have been struggling with spring allergies for years, but that doesn't mean you can't learn a few new tricks about coping with them. With the help of...
WebMD turned to two nutritional experts for their advice on foods to help you fight allergy symptoms:
- Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, mother of a child with bad seasonal allergies and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association
- David Leopold, MD, director of integrative medical education at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego
The meals in this 7-day menu plan feature foods high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients that our experts say may help ease inflammation and minimize complications of hay fever.
Even better, these healthy foods benefit your body in many other ways: boosting heart health and strengthening your immune system, too.
(picture from Buzzle.com)
Day 1: Meals for the Spring Allergy Season
Breakfast: Homemade or low-sugar instant oatmeal made with skim or 1% acidophilus milk fortified with vitamin D, kiwi halves or orange wedges, and a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea.
Lunch: Roasted turkey sandwich with light cream cheese and cranberry sauce on whole wheat bread, 3-Bean salad with light vinaigrette (made with canola or olive oil), plain or light yogurt (with active cultures) with frozen strawberries or raspberries stirred in.
Dinner: Teriyaki Salmon with a side of steamed brown rice and broccoli served with a cup of hot miso soup (or other broth-based soup).
Acidophilus milk is regular cow’s milk, but it has the probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus, added to it. The miso soup, along with other warm broths and teas, can help loosen mucus and ease congestion.
Salmon is one of the best food sources of the potent omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. Gerbstadt recommends fitting in fish three times a week for these anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Studies have suggested the consumption of fatty acids reduce inflammatory markers and may improve lung function. More research, however, is needed.
Day 2: Meals for the Spring Allergy Season
Breakfast: Peach smoothie made with frozen or canned unsweetened peaches, banana, and yogurt with active cultures, hot green or black tea.
Lunch: Vegetarian pizza (with garlic, onions, mozzarella cheese), fruit salad (red grapes, apples, cherries, or pears).
Dinner: Chicken (or lean beef) and vegetable stew served with a whole grain roll or crackers and a glass of skim or low-fat milk with active cultures.
All of the fruits (except bananas) and some of the vegetables in today’s menu (garlic, onions) are rich in quercetin, a flavonoid phytochemical that has reported antihistamine properties -- good for nasal congestion.
Drinking warm fluids from tea or broth or tomato-based soups can help soothe throats and relieve sinus congestion.
Day 3: Meals for the Spring Allergy Season
Breakfast: Honey-wheat raspberry pancakes (stir frozen raspberries into pancake batter), freshly brewed coffee or tea or hot chocolate.
Lunch: Salad Nicoise made with albacore or solid white tuna canned in water, potatoes and tomatoes tossed with a light vinaigrette featuring olive or canola oil, red grapes.
Dinner: Spicy lean beef (or chicken) enchiladas made from steamed corn tortillas or tortillas lightly coated with canola oil and shredded Jack cheese, steamed summer squash.
This menu gives a second fish serving for the week and several produce items that contribute antioxidants including, vitamin C (berries, potatoes, tomatoes, kale). Using vegetable oils that are higher in monounsaturated fat and/or omega-3s and lower in omega-6 fatty acids (like canola and olive oil) may benefit people with asthma.
Spicy ingredients in the enchiladas (cayenne pepper, onions, or garlic) may help thin mucus and clear nasal passages. Use Jack cheese instead of cheddar. Aged cheeses may contribute dietary histamine and possibly provoke allergic symptoms. Other foods thought to contain high concentrations of histamine include sauerkraut, wine, and processed meat, although Leopold says sulfite-free wine is probably finSeee More of the Menu here: