May 25, 2018

Foods Increasing Allergy Symptoms: Which Foods to Avoid during Allergy Season?

Allergies, that occur as a result of hypersensitivity of your immune system, can significantly affect your quality of life. During high pollen season, people with seasonal allergies are ready to follow nearly any tip that can help to relieve their symptoms. You may have heard that eating certain foods can make your allergies worse. In fact, this may be true. Experts suggest that avoiding a number of products during allergy season can help to control the symptoms. In this article, we will discuss 7 foods increasing allergy symptoms that you may want to avoid when your allergy is active.




Histamine is a chemical that is released in your body in the course of the immune system’s response to an allergen. These chemicals are responsible for many allergy symptoms you develop, including itching, redness, swelling, as well as congestion. Some foods contain histamines. If you eat a lot of such foods, the levels of histamine in your body can increase, thus increasing your allergy symptoms.

Wine is naturally high in histamines. However, histamine is not the only substance in wine that can worsen your allergy. Other substances contained in wine, such as LTP (a protein found in the skin of grapes), yeast, sulfites, and byproducts of bacteria, can also cause you to have congestion.

Parmesan and Other Aged Cheeses


Aged cheeses such as parmesan, gouda and manchego may cause a stuffy or runny nose in some allergy sufferers. While some people may blame dairy, it’s actually histamines in the cheese that trigger these symptoms. In fact, according to experts there are no studies proving that dairy can thicken your phlegm or mucous.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables


Some people may develop oral allergy syndrome after eating fresh fruits or veggies. The main symptom is itchiness in the mouth, which is caused by a protein that is found on the skin of the fruits and is similar to pollen. The effect is the same as if you were eating the leaf of whose pollen triggers your allergy.

The good news is that cooking the food is often enough to make it allergy-safe. This is one of the most significant differences between oral allergy syndrome and a real food allergy. It’s worth mentioning that oral allergy syndrome almost never leads to serious reactions like anaphylaxis. However, you should check with your doctor anyway.

Alcoholic Beverages


Any alcoholic drink may cause congestion. This happens because alcohol consumption leads to dilation of the blood vessels, which also causes flushed skin.

Even though this is not related to an allergy, you may want to avoid additional cause of itchiness and stuffiness when your own allergy is at its peak.

What is more, some people may also be allergic to alcohol, but alcohol allergy is a very rare condition.

Spicy Foods


Sometimes, after eating something spicy, you may experience a runny nose. The thing is that spicy foods can actually help to thin out mucus and clear out your nasal passages and sinuses. In most cases, it’s a good thing.

However, if your symptoms are close to severe, you might have a syndrome known as gustatory rhinitis. People with this condition experience allergic irritation because of spicy foods, which leads to sneezing and a runny nose whenever they eat something spicy.

Herbal Teas


Herbal teas are based on plants such as trees, grasses, shrubs or flowers. They may be totally natural, but they are not allergy-free. If you have a pollen allergy, tea leaves can sometimes cross-react with plant pollen and cause sneezing and other symptoms. For instance, chamomile and thyme can cross-react with mugwort pollen. If you notice having allergy symptoms after drinking herbal tea, you may want to switch to another type of tea.

Red Meat


Allergy to red meat, also known as alpha-gal allergy, is a severe condition that causes affected people to develop hives, nausea, or trouble breathing after eating read meat (e.g. beef, pork or lamb). The symptoms of alpha-gal allergy tend to occur several hours after a person eat meat. According to researchers, this condition is transmitted by insects such as ticks who take a sugar molecule called alpha-gal from their prey and transfer it to someone else.

Statistics shows that allergy to red meat has been getting more common. In fact, many previously unexplained cases of anaphylaxis may have been caused by alpha-gal allergy. If you develop any symptoms after eating meat, contact your doctor as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with an allergy to red meat, experts recommend that you carry an epinephrine (adrenaline) auto-injector with you.

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