4 Foods To Avoid If You Have Spring Allergies

These common culprits can actually make symptoms, like scratchy throats, worse.

March 9, 2016
1. Celery

In the spring, birch tree pollen is likely to blame for your sore throat and congestion, and, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, eating foods that contain similar proteins may confuse the immune system and lead to similar symptoms. Celery, for example, is a common culprit for aggravating birch pollen allergies, so cross it off the grocery list temporarily. However, sugar snap peas are available right now, which are a delicious raw snack.

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2. Sauerkraut

Fermented foods contain high levels of histamines, potentially causing itchy, watery eyes, congestion, and a runny nose. If pollen is already having the same effect on your body, eating these foods can make matters worse. The good news is lots fresh greens, like spinach, are making their way to markets in spring, so lay off their fermented cousin.

Related: Spinach Growing Guide

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3. Almonds

Be wary of these nuts until fall as they have been shown to exacerbate spring hay fever. Instead of noshing on almonds for your mid-afternoon snack, try a handful of dried fruit as an alternative.

4. Alcohol

If you suffer from pollen allergies, you may want to skip happy hour. Swedish researchers found that people who suffer from asthma, emphysema, and allergies were more likely to experience sneezing and or a runny nose after having a drink (perhaps because alcohol is high in histamines). Women were also twice as likely to be affected as men, and red and white wine seemed to be the biggest triggers. Consider relaxing with one of the 8 Healthiest Sodas instead.