Are you tired of sneezing, itching, and feeling like your nose is constantly clogged during allergy season? If you're like millions of people worldwide, seasonal allergies can put a serious damper on your enjoyment of the great outdoors. But could switching to a plant-based diet alleviate those pesky allergy symptoms? Let's dig in and find out!
Understanding seasonal allergies
Before we dive into the potential benefits of a plant-based diet for seasonal allergies, let's quickly review what seasonal allergies are and what causes them. Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to something in your environment that is normally harmless, such as pollen or dust. Consequently, the body's response triggers a cascade of symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion.
3 reasons to try a plant-based diet for seasonal allergies
1. Plant-based diets are anti-inflammatory
First, there is evidence to suggest that a plant-based diet for seasonal allergies actually works. For example, one reason for this is that plant-based diets are anti-inflammatory, thanks to all the fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Inflammation is a key factor in allergy symptoms, so reducing inflammation through diet could help with some of those pesky symptoms.
2. Plant-based diets are low histamine
Secondly, another factor to consider is that plants tend to be lower in histamine, a compound that can trigger allergy symptoms in some people. Foods that are high in histamine include dairy products, fermented foods, and processed meats - all of which are avoided on a plant-based diet.
3. Plant-based diets boost your gut health
Finally, a plant-based diet may also help support a healthy gut microbiome, which is crucial for overall immune health. Research has shown that a diverse microbiome can help reduce inflammation and boost immune function, which may help alleviate allergy symptoms.
What to eat on a plant-based diet for allergies
If you're considering a plant-based diet for seasonal allergies, it's important to focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods. This means plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Some specific foods that may be particularly helpful for allergy sufferers include:
Apples are high in quercetin, a natural antihistamine. Eat them on their own or try these easy vegan apple recipes.
2. Leafy Greens
Similarly, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and collard greens are high in magnesium, which has been shown to reduce allergy symptoms. Therefore you're going to want to know how to sneak more leafy greens into your diet.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help reduce allergy symptoms. You can specifically find relief with our turmeric-spiced breakfast scramble.
4. Omega-3 rich foods
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and can be found in foods such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. (Psst...did you know you can make tacos with walnuts? Suspend your disbelief and try for yourself with our Walnut Taco "Meat.")
Final thoughts on a plant-based diet for seasonal allergies
In conclusion, while there is no cure for seasonal allergies, there are certainly steps you can take to alleviate your symptoms. Switching to a whole food, plant-based diet may be one such step that could help reduce inflammation, lower histamine levels, and support a healthy gut microbiome.