Fall should be a time to enjoy the outdoors, admire changing leaves, and revel in cooler temperatures. But with increasing global temperatures and changing wind patterns, seasonal allergies at an all time high this fall. I can’t tell you how many friends, colleagues and patients I’ve seen suffering with itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throats, sneezing and general allergy misery. Seasonal allergies can be tricky to treat, but the following simple diet tips may help alleviate your allergy symptoms long term. Best part- none of the drowsy-ing side effects of anti-histamines!
1. Avoid your food sensitivities!
The most common sensitivities are wheat, corn, soy, dairy, eggs, and nuts. You can try an elimination diet or have your doctor order a food sensitivity panel which detects antibodies in your blood to specific foods. Avoiding these foods can decrease the inflammation in your body, helping to modulate your immune system so that it reacts less to the pollens, mold, and dust mites that are associated with seasonal allergies.
When the body is in an acidic state, it is more prone to producing histamine- that molecule that makes us feel itchy. There are a few simple ways we can shift our bodies to a more alkaline state. First- start your day with a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar. This not only alkalinizes the body, but improves digestion. Second- eat more vegetables! Third- eat less animal fat and red meat, which increase the production of arachadonic acid- a molecule associated with inflammation.
3. Eat whole foods
Emphasize whole grains, low animal fat and more fiber. This will encourage your body to gently and naturally decrease its toxin load, leaving it less likely to react to the common allergens.
4. Increase healthy dietary fat
Healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, wild-caught salmon, and flax. These healthy fats convert to a molecule called prostaglandin-3 (PGE-3) which acts an an anti-inflammatory in the body.
5. Decrease sugar consumption
Sugar not only acidifies the body, it encourages the production of inflammation. So even though the sugar doesn’t necessarily cause allergies, it can make your symptoms significantly worse. Sugars include refined white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup and alcohol. Small amounts of local, raw honey can actually help seasonal allergies! (Make sure never to give honey to children under the age of one)
To learn more about how you can control your seasonal allergies or for information regarding food sensitivity testing, call Integrative Medical Associates at (520) 297-9664 and ask to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rose