If you’ve got a scratchy throat that won’t go away or a lingering cough that seems determined to slow your mojo, there’s a good chance your spring cold is actually spring allergies. Seasonal allergies impact more than 17 million adults every year. And just because you don’t recall suffering from allergies in the past does not mean you’re immune. Allergy season is getting worse every year thanks to climate change, which is extending the number of warm months. Plus more CO2 in the air from greenhouse-gas emissions feeds plants leading to an increase in pollen. “Sometimes that pollen is more potent and more allergenic than it was when there was less CO2 in the atmosphere,” writes Organic Life Magazine.
While you can turn to over-the-counter drugs to help mitigate symptoms, side effects including drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth and more, may make you say no thank you. Luckily, when Mother Nature attacks she also provides relief. Some of the best allergy remedies can be found in the produce section of your grocery store. Here are a few to consider for keeping sniffles at bay.
Broccoli. This crucifer is rich in vitamin C, a natural antihistamine. Reminder, histamines are what the body releases to rid foreign substances from the body. They are the body’s defense system that triggers sneezing, coughing, tearing up, itching, or whatever else is needed to get the offending particle out. Antihistamines block the release of histamine and keep your body from thinking it’s under attack.
Broccoli sprouts. Remember when we said CO2 is making pollen more potent? Broccoli sprouts may be your defense. Research shows these tender greens contain an extract that protects against the diesel exhaust particles that can up the body’s allergic reaction ante.
Apple Cider Vinegar. This favorite home remedy can help with allergies too by breaking up mucus and supporting lymphatic drainage. Here’s a prescription from Dr. Axe: “Three times per day, mix one tablespoon of ACV with one tablespoon of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and a half-tablespoon of local raw honey and drink.”
Dark Leafy Greens. The phytochemical content in kale, collards and Swiss chard is shown to ease allergy symptoms. The body absorbs the beneficial compounds best with fat so consider sautéing in olive oil or drizzling with dressing rather than eating plain.
Onion & Garlic. We love any reason to consume garlic and onions – be they roasted, caramelized or simply sautéed. During allergy season load up on these alliums because, in addition to being delicious, they’re packed with the natural antihistamine quercetin.
Parsley. Parsley contains the special flavonoid apigenin, which in addition to being anti-inflammatory is also shown to have anti-allergenic capabilities. That’s not all, eating parsley is also shown to increase the naturally-occurring hormone adiponectin which can minimize allergies.
Pineapple. Bromelain is the powerful enzyme in this tropical favorite. Research shows bromelain can help reduce allergic reaction by easing sore throats and irritated sinuses. Pineapple is also rich in Vitamin-C another known antihistamine.