Bottom Line: Seasonal allergies- the runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing- are never fun. You may not realize the foods you eat can make your allergies worse. Certain foods can contribute to overstimulation of your immune system, activating your allergies. Small amounts of pollen on your fruits and vegetables can initiate an allergic reaction. So be sure to thoroughly wash your produce before eating to reduce the amount of pollen and bacteria present on their outer layers. But, perhaps the worst trigger for allergies is good ol’ fashioned refined sugar. So, contrary to popular opinion, your allergies do NOT have a sweet tooth!
Why it Matters: Refined sugar causes inflammation and stresses your immune system. When your immune system is stressed, your allergies get worse. Talk about a catch 22! When you are suffering from a runny nose, itchy eyes and constant sneezing it is enticing to reach for a cookie or pastry. But that cookie may put you in a downward spiral of worsening allergies. Refined sugar raises your insulin levels and then causes your blood sugar to plummet. The spike in blood sugar is stressful to your body and can severely impact your immune systems’ ability to fight off allergens appropriately. And a stressed immune system is never able to function at its highest level.
- Refined sugar causes inflammation in your body and can crash your blood sugar levels
- Sugary foods put stress on your body and immune system
- Reducing refined sugar in your diet can help reduce your seasonal allergies
Next Steps: Avoiding excess refined sugar is a great way to reduce your allergies. The next time you feel your allergies coming on, recognize it’s a body signal that your immune system is stressed out. Try avoiding sugary snacks for a few days and give your body a chance to get well. Also, if you know someone who has been suffering from allergies and has “tried everything” to get well, share this paper with them and invite them to our monthly workshop. This information may help them feel better than ever this spring!