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America’s Healthy
Cooking Teacher

Your Kitchen Farm-acy

Time for the big guns. Let’s move from the herb garden and the medicine chest to the pantry and the fridge because a lot of your relief…or aggravation with allergies can be linked to what you eat…or don’t eat.
 
The good news is that it’s time to spice things up, add some sizzle to that sauté in the form of hot spices like cayenne, chili, curry, ginger, even onion and garlic. Not only yummy, the heat in spices can help thin mucus secretions which help clear nasal passages.
 
The bad news is that some of your favorite foods may not be your best pals during seasonal allergy season. Food intolerances are at the forefront of allergy studies to see if there’s a link. New information leads experts to believe that sensitivities to food may be more intricately entwined with seasonal allergies than previously thought.
 
So you need to look at what you’re eating and set aside anything that seems to provoke symptoms, even mild stomach upset or occasional breakouts. Getting rid of foods that upset your equilibrium reduce the burden on your immune system which in turn can help reduce the impact of allergies.
 
According to New York University allergist Clifford Bassett, MD: if you suffer from ragweed or other weed pollen allergies, "you should avoid eating melon, banana, cucumber, sunflower seeds, chamomile, and any herbal supplements containing  Echinacea, all of which can make symptoms much worse."
 
So you may need to re-think those bananas you’re using to thicken your morning smoothie.

But there’s great news. We have all heard the buzz about the connection between probiotics and our immune system. Now experts are linking the ‘flora and fauna’ in your gut to relief of seasonal allergies. The stronger your digestive tract, the less you might be bothered by symptoms.
 
You can take a supplemental probiotic, or you can consume the greatest (and probably oldest known to man) probiotic in the form of miso in this yummy soup.