As the weather gets warmer, we can't help but want to spend more time outside. Unfortunately, for many people, spring also means allergy season. Sneezing, coughing, and congestion - can you relate?
All this put a damper on your outdoor plans! But did you know that you can use plant-based foods to help support your immune system during allergy season? Here are some of the top plant-based foods to incorporate into your diet.
What should I eat when fighting allergies?
Top Plant-Based Foods for Immune Support:
Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are packed with vitamin C, which is important for immune health. Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine, which can help alleviate allergy symptoms. Try adding citrus slices to your water, or incorporate citrus juice into dressings or marinades.
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Leafy greens: Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are high in vitamins and antioxidants that can help support your immune system. They're also rich in folate, which has been linked to allergy relief. Add leafy greens to smoothies, salads, or sauté them as a side dish.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats and protein, which can help keep your immune system functioning properly. They're also high in vitamin E, which has been shown to reduce inflammation. Try adding nuts or seeds to your oatmeal or yogurt, or snack on them throughout the day.
Ginger: Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, and has been shown to help relieve allergy symptoms. Try incorporating fresh ginger into your meals, or make a ginger tea by boiling slices of fresh ginger in water.
Turmeric: Turmeric is another powerful anti-inflammatory spice. It contains curcumin, which has been shown to help alleviate allergy symptoms. Try adding turmeric to your smoothies, soups, or curries.
Practical Ways to Incorporate Plant-Based Foods:
Incorporating plant-based foods into your diet doesn't have to be difficult. Here are some practical ways to use these immune-supporting foods:
- Make a smoothie with leafy greens, citrus fruits, and nuts or seeds for a nutrient-packed breakfast.
- Add sliced citrus fruits to your water or make homemade lemonade or limeade.
- Make a salad with leafy greens, nuts or seeds, and a citrus-based dressing.
- Snack on nuts or seeds throughout the day for a healthy boost of protein and healthy fats.
- Add fresh ginger to stir-fries, soups, or tea.
- Make a turmeric latte or add turmeric to your morning oatmeal.
Citrus fruits - Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are high in vitamin C, which helps to strengthen the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells. Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine, which can help to reduce allergy symptoms.
Berries - Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are high in antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation can worsen allergy symptoms, so consuming berries can be beneficial for those with allergies.
Dark leafy greens - Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are rich in vitamins A and C, both of which are important for immune function. They also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce allergy symptoms.
Ginger - Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the body caused by allergies. It also contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols, which can help to boost the immune system.
Turmeric - Turmeric is a spice that contains a compound called curcumin, which has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to reduce inflammation in the body and may also boost the immune system.
Garlic - Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. It can also help to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Mushrooms - Certain types of mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake, contain beta-glucans, which are natural compounds that can help to boost the immune system. They also contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce allergy symptoms.
Nuts and seeds - Nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, which is important for immune function. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Allergies can be so annoying, especially when you want to go out and play and it's affecting your day! With these tips, we hope you can find some relief during the allergy season!