The Strange Connection Between Pollen Allergies and Food
As if allergy sufferers don’t have enough to worry about, here’s something else to consider: the connection between pollen allergies and food. Here’s how they’re related:
Mucus Mischief Makers
Some foods, including milk and dairy products, like cheese and yogurt, may thicken the mucus in your body. While you need mucus to rid the body of foreign substances, it needs to be clear and runny to do the job. That’s because the thicker the stuff, the harder it is to travel through your body. As a result, instead of being cleared out through your nose and mouth, the allergens get trapped. Ultimately, you want to avoid foods that are will increase the thickness of mucus.
Some foods, especially those that have been aged, pickled, or fermented contain or may cause your body to produce histamine. This substance, which is produced by yeast or bacteria in the fermentation process, is also released by your body when fighting allergens, causing allergy symptoms. The fix: Avoid histamine-rich food and drinks, including dried fruits like raisins, foods that contain vinegar, and wine and beer. By doing so, you can reduce the amount of histamine your body releases, thereby potentially decreasing your allergy symptoms.
Some of the proteins in certain fruits and vegetables are related to those found in the pollens that cause seasonal allergies. For that reason, especially when you eat these foods uncooked, your body may mistake them for pollen, causing what’s known as a cross-reaction. Cross-reactions may cause symptoms such as itchiness or tingling in the throat. The fruits and veggies to avoid depend on the specific pollens that cause your allergic reactions. If you’re allergic to birch tree pollen, for example, stay away from almonds, cherries, and parsley, among other foods. If alder tree pollen is a problem, avoid peaches and pears Allergic to grass pollen? Try not to eat melons, tomatoes, and oranges.
At the same time, just cutting down on allergy-exacerbating foods probably isn’t enough to decrease your allergy symptoms significantly. That step needs to be just one part of your overall effort to defend against pollen allergies. Other crucial moves for clearing the air include keeping windows closed, frequent house cleaning, and using a smart air purifier with a HEPA filter, like Airmega.