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Seasonal Plant-Based Foods to Alleviate Allergy Symptoms: A Natural Approach

Updated: Jun 30

Are you experiencing seasonal allergies? Itchy eyes and nose? Feeling congestion and sinus pressure? Perhaps a headache too? Explore the benefits of incorporating seasonal plant-based foods into your diet to alleviate allergy symptoms naturally.
Woman having an allergic reaction to spring flowers

Allergy season can be a tough time for many of us, especially for those who suffer from migraines triggered by allergies. Mama Earth is quite potent as she comes back alive. As someone who personally struggles with seasonal allergies and migraines, I understand the frustration and discomfort that comes with this time of year. While I honor and respect the effectiveness of Western medicine, I also try my best to lean into natural resources when I can. In my search for natural remedies, I've learned about a variety of plant-based ingredients and foods that can help alleviate allergy symptoms and reduce inflammation in the body. So, I'd like to share with you some of these ingredients and foods that are particularly helpful during allergy season, in hopes that it finds you relief.

Quercetin-Rich Foods to Alleviate Allergy Symptoms

Quercetin-Rich asparagus stalks in a wicker basket on top of a wooden table

Quercetin is a flavonoid that acts as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory agent. It can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can alleviate allergy symptoms. Luckily, many seasonal fruits and vegetables are rich in quercetin, including:

  • Broccoli

  • Kale

  • Asparagus

  • Buckwheat

  • Berries

  • Citrus fruits

Omega-3 Fatty Acids have high anti-inflammatory properties

Omega-3 Fatty Acid flax seeds spilling out of a glass jar onto a surface

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. They are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to help alleviate allergy symptoms. Some seasonal plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Flaxseeds

  • Chia seeds

  • Soybeans

  • Algae-based supplements (spirulina and chlorella)

Ginger also reduces inflammation

Ginger on a cutting board, surrounded by lemons in a basket and a tea with mint and lemon and ginger

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help to reduce inflammation in the body. It also contains compounds that can help to alleviate allergy symptoms. Luckily, ginger can be found year-round and can be incorporated into many seasonal recipes. Some ways to incorporate ginger into your diet include:

  • Adding fresh ginger to smoothies or juices with seasonal fruits and vegetables

  • Making ginger tea with fresh ginger root and lemon

  • Adding grated ginger to seasonal stir-fries or soups

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties

Turmeric powder in a pouch with some other spices around it

Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, a compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help to reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate allergy symptoms. Like ginger, turmeric is also available year-round, so it's accessible enough to add into dishes any time you're experiencing inflammation. Some ways to incorporate turmeric into your lifestyle include:

  • Adding turmeric to seasonal curries or soups

  • Making golden milk with turmeric, ginger, and seasonal plant-based milk

  • Adding turmeric to smoothies or juices with seasonal fruits and vegetables

Nettle Leaf blocks histamines that cause allergies

a rustic teapot with fresh nettle leaf sprigs around it

Nettle leaf is a natural antihistamine that can help to alleviate allergy symptoms. It contains compounds that block the production of histamine in the body, which can reduce inflammation and alleviate allergy symptoms. Nettle leaf is a seasonal plant that is typically harvested in the spring and early summer. Some ways to incorporate nettle leaf into your seasonal diet include:

  • Drinking nettle leaf tea made from freshly harvested leaves

  • Adding nettle leaf to smoothies or juices made with seasonal fruits and vegetables

Foods to avoid during allergy season

Cola in a glass with ice splashing into it

While there are many plant-based foods that can help alleviate allergy symptoms during the allergy seasons, there are also some foods that can potentially worsen allergies. It's important to be mindful of these foods and consider avoiding them if you find that they trigger allergy symptoms. Here are some plant-based foods to avoid during allergy season:

High Histamine Foods

Histamine is a compound that is naturally produced by the body and is involved in the immune response. However, some foods are also high in histamine, which can cause allergy-like symptoms in some people. During allergy season, it's best to avoid high histamine foods, such as:

  • Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha

  • Aged vegan cheese

Nightshade Vegetables

Nightshade vegetables are a group of plants that belong to the Solanaceae family. These vegetables contain a compound called solanine, which can trigger inflammation in some people. While not everyone is sensitive to nightshades, it's best to avoid them if you find that they worsen allergy symptoms. Nightshade vegetables include:

  • Tomatoes

  • Potatoes

  • Peppers

  • Eggplant

Processed Foods

Processed foods, such as fast food, packaged snacks, and sugary drinks, often contain high levels of preservatives, artificial colors, and other additives that can cause inflammation and worsen allergy symptoms. It's best to avoid processed foods in general, but especially during allergy season and instead opt for whole, plant-based foods and hydrating natural drinks.

Exploring the Top Ingredients and Foods for Immune Support During Allergy Season

Incorporating seasonal plant-based foods into your diet can be a natural and effective way to alleviate allergy symptoms during allergy season. From anti-inflammatory herbs and spices to immune-boosting nuts and seeds, there are many plant-based ingredients that can help support your immune system and reduce inflammation. It's also important to be mindful of plant-based foods that can potentially worsen allergy symptoms, such as high histamine foods, nightshade vegetables, and processed foods.

Remember, always consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian before making any dietary changes, especially if you have severe allergies or food sensitivities.

As you navigate allergy season, consider adding more plant-based foods to your diet and being mindful of any potential triggers. By listening to your body and giving it the nutrients it needs, you'll be able to better manage your allergies and feel your best. You deserve it!

Do you have any favorite plant-based ingredients or recipes that help alleviate your allergy symptoms? Share in the comments below!


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