Spring’s colorful flowers and green grass signal the end of winter’s harsh weather. They also mark the start of spring allergies, and a different kind of discomfort for millions of people around the world.
Spring allergies are also known as hay fever and seasonal rhinitis. The culprit behind spring allergy symptoms is typically pollen. Mold may also play a role.
Read on to learn about the causes of spring allergies, how to avoid them, and the best ways to find relief from symptoms.
Managing food allergies in children
No parent wants to see their child suffer. Since fatal and near-fatal food allergy reactions can occur at school or other places outside the home, parents of a child with food allergies need to make sure that their child’s school has a written emergency action plan. The plan should provide instructions on preventing, recognizing and managing food allergies and should be available in the school and during activities such as sporting events and field trips.
In November 2013, President Barack Obama signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, which encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to have epinephrine auto-injectors on hand. As of late 2014, dozens of states had passed laws that either require schools to have a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors for general use or allow school districts the option of providing a supply of epinephrine.
Many of the unpleasant allergy symptoms come from inflammatory issues, like swelling and irritation in the nasal passages, eyes, and throat. Ginger can help reduce these symptoms naturally.
For thousands of years, ginger has been used as a natural remedy for a number of health problems, like nausea and joint pain. It’s also been proven to contain antioxidative, anti-inflammatory phytochemical compounds. Now, experts are exploring how these compounds may be useful for combating seasonal allergies. In a 2016 animal study, ginger suppressed the production of pro-inflammatory proteins in the blood of mice, which led to reduced allergy symptoms.
There doesn’t appear to be a difference in the anti-inflammatory capacity of fresh ginger versus dried. Add either variety to stir fries, curries, baked goods, or try making ginger tea.
While it’s an old wives’ tale that vitamin C prevents the common cold, it may help shorten the duration of a cold as well as offer benefits for allergy sufferers. Eating foods high in vitamin C has been shown to decrease allergic rhinitis, the irritation of the upper respiratory tract caused by pollen from blooming plants.
So during allergy season, feel free to load up on high-vitamin C citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, sweet peppers, and berries.
Though citrus tends to get all the glory when it comes to vitamin C, tomatoes are another excellent source of this essential nutrient. One medium-size tomato contains about 26 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C.
Additionally, tomatoes contain lycopene, another antioxidant compound that helps quell systemicinflammation. Lycopene is more easily absorbed in the body when it’s cooked, so choose canned or cooked tomatoes for an extra boost.
Onions are an excellent natural source of quercetin, a bioflavonoid you may have seen sold on its own as a dietary supplement.
Some research suggests that quercetin acts as a natural antihistamine, reducing the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Since onions also contain a number of other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, you can’t go wrong including them in your diet during allergy season. (You just might want to freshen your breath afterward.)
Raw red onions have the highest concentration of quercetin, followed by white onions and scallions. Cooking reduces the quercetin content of onions, so for maximum impact, eat onions raw. You might try them in salads, in dips (like guacamole), or as sandwich toppings. Onions are also prebiotic-rich foods which nourish healthy gut bacteria and further support immunity and health.
Turmeric is well-known as an anti-inflammatory powerhouse for a good reason. Its active ingredient, curcumin, has been linked to reduced symptoms of many inflammation-driven diseases, and could help minimize the swelling and irritation caused by allergic rhinitis.
Although turmeric’s effects on seasonal allergies haven’t been studied extensively in humans, animal studies are promising. One showed that treating mice with turmeric reduced their allergic response.
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