Some of us can't wait for the brilliant blossoms of spring or summer to finally arrive. Others fear that day and the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, scratchy throats, and watery eyes it promises to bring. Because of climate change, this has been a worse-than-average spring allergy season—and experts say the situation will only escalate as time goes on.
In those with allergies, the immune system overreacts to typically harmless triggers, such as pollen. This allergen is mistaken as a threat, and the body releases a chemical called histamine, meant to protect you, which produces the above-mentioned symptoms in the process.
If you're no stranger to spring allergies, you're probably already familiar with your biggest triggers and remedies to make the sneezing stop, whether that's taking an allergy medication or adopting any number of natural allergy remedies.
Part of your prevention plan is likely to be to avoid your biggest triggers as much as possible. However, it's not quite as simple as it is with a food allergy wherein you simply don't eat the food you're allergic to, thus avoiding the symptoms, says Leonard Bielory, M.D., American College of Asthma and Immunology fellow.
But it turns out avoiding certain foods—and adding more of others—can affect your likelihood of developing seasonal allergies, as well as the severity of your symptoms. "It's a life choice, not a meal choice," Bielory, an allergy specialist at Rutgers University's Center for Environmental Prediction and a physician at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey, says.
So what should you eat if you want to stop sniffling? Here are some of best and worst foods and drinks for seasonal allergies.