Seasonal allergies are tough to deal with, especially when the springtime comes around and all you want to do is enjoy the sunshine outside. But they don’t have to completely get you down! If you get a stuffy nose and clogged sinuses during this time of year, there are two different types of foods that can rid you of those cold-like symptoms.
When it comes to ringing out your sinuses entirely, a mix of spicy foods or herbs (if you’re not a spice fan) can do the trick. Foods like jalapeño peppers, chili peppers, garlic, and wasabi all contain different compounds that create a hot sensation to reduce inflammation and loosen up blocked mucous. Several types of peppers, for instance, contain a molecule called capsaicin that does just that. While this might make your nose runny at first, it’s because your body is expelling that excess mucous and making the way for clearer nasal passages.
If spicy food isn’t your favorite, herbs like turmeric, elderberry, ginger root, cinnamon, cardamom, and dried citrus peels (grind ’em up and mix them in with salt or dressings!) can all have similar sinus-draining effects without having the hot kick.
And which foods have the opposite effect and may actually make your seasonal allergies worse? Health experts say to be careful with fresh fruit in particular since it may contain more pollen in it and exacerbate symptoms. Dairy products are a no-no since they have compounds that stick to mucous.
Of course, any individual spicy food- or herb-filled meal will only offer temporary relief. If your allergy-like symptoms persist and you’re not sure if they’re even seasonal allergies in the first place, it may be time to visit your doctor or an allergist to diagnose the problem. It never hurts to get a second opinion!