Some of us can't wait for the brilliant blossoms of spring to finally arrive. Others fear that day and the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, scratchy throats and watery eyes it promises to bring. Because of climate change, experts are predicting a worse-than-average spring allergy season -- and for the situation to only escalate as time goes on.
In those with allergies, the immune system overreacts to any typically-harmless trigger, like pollen. This allergen is mistaken as a threat, and the body releases a chemical called histamine, meant to protect you, which produces your symptoms in the process.
If you're no stranger to spring allergies, you've probably already determined your biggest triggers and what to do 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. It's not quite as simple as with a food allergy, says Leonard Bielory, M.D., American College of Asthma and Immunology fellow. In those cases, you don't eat the food, and you don't get a bad reaction.
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," says Bielory, an allergy specialist at Rutgers University's Center for Environmental Prediction and a physician at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey.
So what should you eat if you want to stop sniffling? Here are some of best and worst foods and drinks for seasonal allergies.