Three simple additions to your diet to help reduce seasonal allergy symptoms – Stittsville Central

(Alexes Papadopoli is a registered dietitian at Brown’s Your Independent Grocer in Stittsville and at Loblaws Kanata.)

To say the past two years have been stressful is an understatement. More and more Canadians are feeling higher levels of stress, especially since the pandemic, and according to research, stress can impact allergy symptoms. Stress hormones can increase an already exaggerated immune system response, so people with persistent emotional stress can experience more severe allergy flare-ups.1 With warmer weather approaching in Stittsville, it’s important to find the best ways to manage our allergy symptoms this season. The good news is that nutrition, in addition to over-the-counter allergy medications, can help manage your symptoms.

Although we can’t get rid of our allergies through food, we can help our immune system fight allergy symptoms. By maintaining an optimal anti-inflammatory diet that includes lots of the nutrients you need, you can help your immune system fight off allergies. Plus, the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are great for your overall health.

Omega-3 fatty acids – diets rich in omega-3s can help 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 – Spices, such as ginger and turmeric, can relieve persistent and unpleasant inflammatory allergy symptoms. Ginger, whether fresh, dried, or powdered, can help clear any swelling or irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat naturally. Turmeric is known to reduce inflammation, which can improve the severity of allergy symptoms. Its active ingredient, curcumin, has been linked to reduced symptoms of many inflammatory conditions. If you feel congested, consider adding spices or teas to your diet.

Probiotics – New studies suggest probiotics may be beneficial in treating allergies, so adding these microorganisms to your diet can be invaluable in your fight against allergy symptoms. Considered “good” bacteria, probiotics not only help maintain gut health, but live microorganisms also play an important role in regulating our immune system. They may also provide anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. Examples of foods that may contain probiotics are kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, or yogurt.

As a local dietitian at Brown’s Your Independent Grocer and Loblaws Kanata, Alexes is also there to support you and can help improve your overall well-being through personalized nutrition services. To discuss your unique needs, book your free 15-minute consultation with me or one of my colleagues from the Ottawa Dietetics team at DietitianServices.ca.

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1Dr Ahmad Sedaghata Harvard-affiliated ear, nose and throat specialist,
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/is-stress-making-your-allergy-symptoms-worse. ———————

Red Bean Tofu Curry with Brown Basmati Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) PC® Brown Basmati Rice
  • 1 C. (15ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. (25 mL) chopped fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 C. 1/2 tsp (5 mL) each ground coriander and ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. 1/2 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (796 mL) PC® Blue Menu® Whole Tomatoes
  • 1 pkg. (500 g) PC® Blue Menu® Kidney Beans – Frozen
  • 1 pkg. (350 g) PC® Blue Menu® Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 C. (15 ml) Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 C. (5 ml) Salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine rice and 2-1/2 cups of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir, cover and reduce the heat
    to lower. Simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Remove from fire. let stand 5
    minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a separate large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook while stirring
    occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño, ginger, cilantro, cumin,
    turmeric and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in frozen beans and tofu; return to simmer. To cook,
    stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and liquid has thickened slightly, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from fire; stir in cilantro, lemon juice and salt. Serve over rice.

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