COLUMN: Can nutritional choices help relieve allergy symptoms?

Madison Brown, Registered Dietitian at Bradford Zehrs shares some tips for those who suffer from seasonal allergies

Allergy season is upon us in Bradford, making it a stressful time for many in the community trying to control their symptoms.

A little-known fact is that people with persistent emotional stress have more frequent allergy flare-ups. According to research, stress hormones can speed up the immune system’s already exaggerated response, so people with persistent emotional stress can have more severe allergy flare-ups. The good news is that nutrition, in addition to over-the-counter allergy medications, can help manage your symptoms.

Although there is no cure for seasonal allergies, certain lifestyle changes, such as a change in diet, can help relieve your symptoms and boost your immune system’s ability to fight allergies. Plus, the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are great for your overall health!

Here’s where to start:

Probiotics – Probiotics can help maintain gut health and improve your overall quality of life. Live microorganisms play an important role in the digestive system, helping balance your good bacteria and producing a stronger immune response to common allergens. Examples of foods rich in probiotics are kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi or yogurt.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Omega 3s are nutrients you get from eating certain types of foods or taking supplements, helping to boost your immune system and maintain your overall health. Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are rich in omega-3s. A diet high in omega-3s can reduce inflammation and may help relieve nasal congestion and swelling.

Spices – When you consume spices, the effects on the body are clear. Some people start sweating, while others have a tickle in their throat. Spices like ginger and turmeric relieve allergies by stimulating mucous cilia to help decongest. Ginger, in its many forms (fresh, dried, and powdered), can help relieve some of the most common unpleasant inflammatory allergy symptoms, such as swelling and irritation of the throat, eyes, and nasal passages. . Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice that contains curcumin, which has been linked to reduced symptoms of many inflammatory conditions.

For those with seasonal allergies, remember that everyone’s body is different, so these dietary changes may work for some, but not all. There are many ways to combat seasonal allergies, you just have to find the right one!

Over-the-counter medications are the option of choice for many allergy sufferers. A pharmacist can guide you through the different types and recommend the best one based on your symptoms.

As your local Zehrs Bradford Dietitian, I am also here to support you and help you improve your overall well-being through personalized nutrition services. To discuss your unique needs, schedule an appointment with me at Zehrs.ca/dietitians.

Madison Brown, Dietitian, MHSc, MSc, Zehrs Bradford

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