If you have a grass allergy, you may tear through a box of tissues due to itchy, eyes, sneezing and a runny nose. Weekends may leave you feeling worse since more people cut their lawns then. But did you know that some of your favorite foods might be adding to your grass allergy symptoms, too?
What are grass allergy cross-reactors?
During an allergic reaction, your body sees the pollen or allergen as an enemy and releases histamines as a defense mechanism.
Certain proteins in fruits and vegetables cross-react with the proteins in grass, causing your body to release additional histamine. So if you’re sensitive to grass, you might also be sensitive to the foods that cross-react with it.
Because cooking fruits and vegetables breaks down the proteins in them, you may be able to tolerate them better cooked than in raw form. But that doesn’t mean you should eat them as part of your daily diet during prime grass allergy time.
Foods to avoid if you have a grass allergy
If you know you have a grass allergy or sensitivity, avoid these foods when grass pollens are high:
Raw apples or the pesticides on lettuce may intensify your grass allergy symptoms, too. And though you may instinctively reach for the wasabi or hot salsa to “open up” your sinuses, know that spicy foods tend to release loads of histamines – not a good thing if your body is already in overdrive.
Which foods will help combat your grass allergy?
When there are foods to avoid, there are always foods to latch onto for the healing effects you need.
Green tea contains natural antihistamines, but remember it contains caffeine. And avoid purchasing orange or peach flavors.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish help reduce inflammation caused by the histamines in your body. Eat more salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel or albacore tuna during grass season. Fresh, wild-caught fish is best.
Add turmeric and ginger to your fish or chicken. Or combine these powerful anti-inflammatory spices with cinnamon and hot water to make a tasty tea.
Finally, probiotics, specifically with lactobacillus or bifidobacterium help balance your gut flora. If you’re not taking probiotics daily yet, you need to read “What you should know about probiotics for women, men and kids”.
Of course, you can also tackle your grass allergy symptoms with these non-food tactics, too. Though I strongly advise against medications, including steroid nasal sprays, because they are likely to cause more damage to your digestion and body in the long-term.
There’s a reason foods grow in seasons. Pay attention to how your body responds to foods during each season. Then choose to eat what your body needs, not necessarily your taste buds want!
*This blog is intended for use as a source of information and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice.