Diet Dos and Don'ts for Seasonal Allergy Relief

A nutritionist explains what to eat and what to avoid for allergy symptom relief

Itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and coughing; if you suffer from seasonal allergies there’s a good chance you’re currently dealing with these pesky symptoms (and especially if you’re an outdoor athlete).

Of course, you can’t change the season or your environmental surroundings, but in addition to taking special precautions that can help to minimize some of your seasonal suffering, you can go one step further by paying closer attention to your diet.

According to The Fresh Diet's lead nutritionist and anti-allergy advocate, Trishna Joshi, there are certain foods that seasonal allergy sufferers should avoid and others that can help to ease and eliminate symptoms.

Below she shares her expert tips on what foods to reach for and steer clear of for allergy symptom relief.

Diet Dos:

  • Magnesium acts as an antihistamine and relaxes muscles. Joshi suggests filling up on beans, nuts, whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat bread and green leafy vegetables. 
  • Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that decreases inflammation. Joshi says you can find it in cranberries, apples, onions and capers. 
  • Get Spicy: Joshi says fennel, fenugreek, mustard seeds and star anise can all help clean out your sinuses and reduce common allergy symptoms like a runny nose and congestion. 
  • Vitamin C reduces histamine, which reduces inflammation. According to Joshi it's also an antioxidant and fights free radicals. She suggests stocking up on melons, berries, citrus and tomatoes. 

Diet Don’ts:

  • Good to Know: Joshi says that a lot of allergy sufferers are battling food-pollen allergy syndrome or are responding negatively to common culprits like ragweed, grass, pollen and certain trees. 
  • If you’re allergic to ragweed: Steer clear of bananas, cucumbers, cantaloupe and even drinking chamomile tea. 
  • Grass pollen sufferers: Skip the oranges, cherries, peaches and almonds. 
  • Cut out the cocktails: Alcohol makes blood vessels dilate, which may make you feel worse.
  • Dairy is a don’t: Dairy products can thicken mucus and make you feel worse.