Five foods to fight allergies


Yesterday it finally happened. The mercury shot above 65F and spring fever hit.

After one of the most brutally cold winters Minnesota has seen in a generation, spring has finally sprung. As I rode my bike home from work yesterday I saw block after block of people enjoying the lovely weather: kids playing pick-up basketball at the park, neighbors grilling out in their backyards, giant dogs taking their owners for walks!  But if you’re like me, and millions of other people, you know that the beauty of spring comes with one major setback:


Maybe you’ve had allergies your whole life, or maybe they waited to drive you mad later in life. Maybe you take medication for your symptoms, or maybe you just suffer through with travel-sized tissues in your pocket at all times. No matter who you are or, how your seasonal allergies manifest, there are things that you can do to help lessen your suffering.

While acupuncture and herbs are important steps to take when treating allergies, incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods is of the utmost importance.  Here are five foods to help lessen allergy symptoms. Want to find out why? Keep reading…


1. Apples – Maybe the old adage is true.  Eat an apple a day not only to keep the doctor away, but perhaps a runny nose and itchy eyes too!

2. Onions – Specifically, red onions eaten raw.  Try them thinly sliced and quickly pickled with some beets. You’ll be amazed at how they loose their spicy kick and gain a mellow sweet flavor.

3. Cranberries – Combine these with a chopped apple and some red grapes for a 1-2-3 punch against pollen.

4. Capers (canned) – Did you know that capers are actually a fruit? Sprinkle them on dishes where you want a little extra salt and flavor.

5. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Who doesn’t want an excuse to eat a little more chocolate? Just make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder.  Add it to a peanut butter and banana smoothie for a decadent treat.

So, you might be wondering: What do all these foods have in common that is going to be so helpful for my seasonal allergies?


Never heard of it? I’m not that surprised. Quercetin has long lived below the radar, but is increasingly growing in popularity due to its powerhouse abilities.  Quercetin is a type of flavanoid (plant pigment) that has antioxidant properties, but also acts like an anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine when consumed in the diet. 

A study published in the Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents (I know, I know, I’m a total nerd…) concluded that:

Quercetin is a natural compound that blocks substances involved in allergies and is able to act as an inhibitor of mast cell secretion… Quercetin is a safe, natural therapy that may be used as primary therapy or in conjunction with conventional methods[i].

So, how are you going to incorporate more quercetin into your diet? And yes, I did indeed cut up that apple and eat it with a big spoonful of almond butter after I took that picture. Yum!

Are you interested in learning more tips and tricks to keep your allergies under control this spring and summer? I will be teaching a class on traditional Chinese medicine for allergy sufferers on Thursday, May 1st from 6:30-7:30pm with Julie Colby from Lady’s Slipper Wellness. If you’d like more information please email me at


**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

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