7 Foods That Can Help Sooth Seasonal Allergies

When thinking about food and allergies, it's important to remember that reactions to cross-reactive foods may only be experienced by those who have allergies to certain seasonal allergens like birch, ragweed or mugwort.

Not to be confused with seasonal allergies, hay fever or allergic rhinitis typically only develops during the spring or summer and has symptoms like lots of congestion, sneezing, and itchiness.

While over-the-counter medicine usually relieves seasonal allergies, adding certain foods to your diet can also provide relief. These dietary choices might include those that help reduce inflammation or boost the immune system.

Here’s a list of foods to try.

1. Ginger

One cause of unpleasant allergy symptoms is inflammation in areas such as the nasal passages, eyes, and throat. Ginger can help reduce these symptoms naturally.

Ginger, which has been used as a natural remedy for many years, may be an effective way to combat allergies. When combined with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, experts have found that ginger suppresses the production of pro-inflammatory proteins in mice. This led to decreased allergy symptoms.

It appears as though there is no difference in the anti-inflammatory properties between fresh and dried ginger. Add either to your stir-fries, curries, baked goods or try making a cup of ginger tea.

2. Bee pollen

Bee pollen is a food for bees, but it can also be consumed by humans. Bees eat the pollen to help their bodies process honey and pollinate flowers. Studies have shown that bee pollen has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties in the human body.

In one animal study, bee pollen inhibited the activation of mast cells — a crucial step in preventing allergic reactions.

One way to help your body resist the allergens you are allergic is by taking in local bee pollen. “Local honey in which the same local pollen your body is allergic to are contained,” says registered dietitian Stephanie Van’t Zelfden. This can be found at a farmer’s market near you as well.

Bee pollen is sold in small pellets and has a flavor of sweet or nutty. Creative ways to eat it include sprinkling it on yogurt or cereal, or blending into a smoothie.

3. Citrus fruits

While vitamin C won’t prevent a cold, it is helpful for people with allergies.

Eating foods high in vitamin C may help decrease allergic rhinitis, the irritation of the upper respiratory tract caused by pollen from blooming plants.

During allergy season, it’s a good idea to load up on high-vitamin C foods, such as oranges, grapefru