Loving the Bite: Relief for Seasonal Allergies from the Kitchen
Does just thinking about Spring have your sneezing, wheezing, rubbing your eyes, and feeling an itch in your throat? With all its beauty, all its excitement, and all its opportunities to ride, Spring also brings along a lot of pollen and seasonal allergies. And although seasonal allergies aren’t exactly within my expertise, they significantly affect my clients, their training, and their wellbeing. So, although I have no cure, here’s a recipe that may just help, even if only treating the symptoms – especially sinus symptoms. And, each ingredient provides antioxidants, anti-inflammatory components, and many health benefits.
Recipe of the Week: Anti-Allergy Black Elderberry-Honey-Vinegar Syrup
- 2/3 cup dry black elderberries (can be found at most health food stores, often in bulk)
- 3 1/2 cups of water
- 2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger or 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup raw organic honey (we get from our farmer’s market)
- ¼ cup organic apple cider vinegar
- Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to simmer, and simmer for 45 minutes. Then remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once cool enough to hand, pour contents through a strainer into a bowl. Allow to cool until lukewarm.
- Stir in honey and vinegar and mix well. Store in tightly covered jars in refrigerator.
- For daily consumption, take 1 Tbsp per day. If experiencing allergy symptoms, take 1 Tbsp up to 3 times per day. If experience flu or cold symptoms, take 1 Tbsp every 3 hours until symptoms are relieved.
Anyone who reads our Loving the Bite posts knows I love organic honey. And organic apple cider vinegar. I believe these 2 foods are very useful in health and wellness, even if we don’t completely understand the mechanisms by which they work. And, now, I present black elderberries.
Studied largely for their ability to reduce the length and severity of flus (good research supports their effectiveness) by reducing virus activity, black elderberries also offer immune-boosting, sinus-relieving, and antioxidant components. For the allergy sufferer, this may mean lessened symptoms, and better sinus function. Also, since many allergy sufferers seem to be susceptible to colds and flus more often, it can reduce risk and occurrence of these illnesses even throughout the allergy season.
Five more nutrition tips for seasonal allergies:
1) If you don’t feel like taking the time to make this wonderful (and tasty!) syrup, you can still enjoy the benefits of it’s ingredients. First, add organic raw honey, up to 2 Tbsp per day to your snacks/meals (or take like a supplement). Make sure to choose local, raw honey if possible, that still retains its pollens.
2) Take a daily dose of organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Here’s a great recipes and all the reasons why: Magic Health Tonic.
3) Take probiotics or eat a good source of healthy bacteria, like yogurt, daily. Allergies and asthma may in fact start, or worsen, due to poor gut bacteria health. With the high use of antibiotics, or with diets too low in healthy bacteria and fibers, yeast can overtake healthy bacteria in the gut. Mice studies have shown a correlation with asthma and allergy symptoms and overgrown yeast in the intestines.
4) Take fish oil every day. If you’re able to eat 12 oz. of fatty fish per week, take 1000 mg DHA/EPA through fish oil supplements per day. If you eat less fish, increase your dose to 2000 mg DHA/EPA per day. If you are “aspirin-sensitive” or on blood thinners, always talk to your doctor before starting or increasing fish oil. These anti-inflammatory fats can decrease allergy symptoms by decreasing the production of immune factors that cause them.
5) Increase specific vitamins: Take at least 1000 mg Vitamin C, and 800 IU vitamin D, per day as these vitamins may specifically reduce symptoms.
As a cyclist with seasonal allergies, you put yourself right out there, in the pollen danger-zone, every time you go for a ride. This week we have one options that may reduce your symptoms. And, improve your ride.
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.