Seasonal Allergies News
Have you been going about your days with sneezing, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes? The good news: it is not swine flu! The bad news: we are experiencing higher than usual pollen counts this year…
Seasonal allergies, or “hay fever,” occur at specific times of the year, depending upon the individual’s sensitivities. In many areas of the U.S., those suffering in the springtime are usually allergic to tree pollen. The most common culprits include oak, elm, maple, alder, birch, juniper, and olive.
In early summer, grass pollens are usually the source of seasonal allergies; in the late summer, it is usually ragweed.
The good news is that there is a lot that you can do to reduce your exposure to pollen, as well as to minimize the reaction that you have to it. We hope you find the following article helpful- it outlines updated information about how you can feel better- today!
Seasonal Allergy Update Foods To Avoid in Allergy Season
by Cora Rivard, N.D.
Did you know that eating certain foods may aggravate your seasonal allergy symptoms? This is because certain foods can cross-react with the same immune responses which react to certain types of pollen (especially birch, cedar, and ragweed).
People with seasonal allergies may find some relief by avoiding certain common foods while their allergies are most active (it is not necessary to avoid them during the rest of the year):
If you suspect you have a birch tree pollen allergy, try avoiding the following: almonds, apples, apricots, carrots, celery, cherries, coriander, fennel, hazelnuts, kiwi, lychee fruit, nectarines, parsley, parsnips, peaches, pears, peppers, persimmon, plums, potatoes, prunes, soy, wheat, zucchini, walnuts.
For grass pollen allergy: celery, watermelon, oranges, peaches, tomatoes Ragweed pollen Bananas, melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew), gourd family (cucumber, zucchini and squash), chamomile, echinacea, sunflower seeds, zucchini.
For alder pollen allergy: celery, pears, apples, almonds, cherries, hazelnuts, peaches, parsley.
For mugwort pollen allergy: celery, fennel, carrots, parsley, coriander, sunflower, peppers.
It may also be a good idea to avoid using teas or other natural supplements which contain echinacea or chamomile during that time, as both of these plants are related to the plants in the ragweed family.
Other foods to avoid in excess are ones which contain a large proportion of a certain type of fatty acid: omega-6, known as linoleic acid (not to be confused with omega-3/ALA or alpha-linolenic acid.) While consumption of both varieties is essential to human health, the diet in the U.S. tends to be relatively high in omega-6, in relation to omega-3, an imbalance that has been implicated in causing inflammation and far-reaching consequences in many types of chronic diseases. Oils high in the omega-6’s include many of the vegetable oils used for high heat cooking or frying, such as corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils. It is therefore a good idea to avoid fried foods, bakery goods (such as donuts, pastries, and cakes), and fast foods. Studies have not yet illuminated whether using omega-3’s, such as fish oils, can directly reduce allergy symptoms, but they have repeatedly shown the adverse effects of a diet excessive in omega-6 foods.
So what else can you do to help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies? It is always a good idea to reduce your exposure to pollens as much as possible. One way is to avoid exercising outside in the early morning hours, when many plants tend to release their pollen. Pollen counts are usually lower on cool or rainy days and higher on warm, sunny days, particularly the first sunny day after it has been rainy.
It is also a good idea to launder your sheets and clothing frequently with hot water and use an extra rinse cycle.
Some people report relief with using a saline rinse, either commercially prepared or with a neti pot, to rinse out the pollen and reduce irritation to the lining of the nasal passages.
1. Inomata, N., et al. “Oral allergy syndrome due to plant-derived foods: a clinical review of 63 patients over a period of 6 years.” Aerugi (Japanese Journal of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology). 2007, 56(10):1276-84
2. Gall, H., et al. “Kiwi fruit allergy: a new birch pollen-associated food allergy.”Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 1994, July(1):70-6
Featured Products For Seasonal Allergies
At Rockwell Nutrition, we have a choice of products which may help to relieve the annoyance of seasonal allergies. Please visit our section on seasonal allergies.
Rockwell Nutrition’s goal is to provide you and your loved ones with valuable information so that you may prosper in life. We provide licensed health care practitioners to advise you best on your supplement choices and research based, pharmaceutical supplements to empower you in your health and life path. Please let us know what other topics you would like to know more about.
Annika Rockwell, CN
Julie Haugen, MS, RD, LN
Rockwell Nutrition, Inc.