Seasonal allergies, like other types of allergies, develop when the body’s immune system overreacts to something in the environment, usually during spring, summer, or fall when certain plants pollinate.1 Symptoms of seasonal allergies include watery, itchy eyes, runny nose or congestion, sneezing, postnasal drip, sore, itchy throat and ears, poor-quality sleep, and fatigue.2 At the very least, these symptoms are bothersome; at the very worst, they can make daily-life unbearable. Today, we’re going to talk about one simple ingredient that can help combat seasonal allergies.
It comes as no surprise that diet and lifestyle play a huge factor in overall health and well-being. When you follow a high-nutrient diet, you are creating an environment in your body that promotes proper immune function and regulation of the inflammatory response, which may help to blunt allergy symptoms naturally.3
A nutrient-dense diet is one in which a person consumes high-quality whole foods and avoids foods that are processed, chemically altered, or filled with synthetic ingredients. One of the foods that fall under the umbrella of a high-nutrient diet is the underestimated, yet powerful, parsley. While often overlooked as a simple garnish on your plate, this little herb is a nutrient-dense powerhouse.
Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C as well as a good source of vitamin A, folate, and iron.4 Parsley is incredibly beneficial to your immune system due to its high levels of antioxidants, including vitamin C which helps maintain a healthy gut environment (where most of your immune system is located).5 Parsley is also rich in flavonoids, such as quercetin, which prevents immune cells from releasing histamines, the chemicals that cause allergic reactions.6 In other words, parsley has naturally occurring anti-histamine properties. Researchers believe that quercetin may help reduce symptoms of allergies, including runny nose, watery eyes, hives, and swelling of the face and lips.7
With this incredible line-up of vitamins and minerals, I’m sure you’re ready for your daily dose of parsley. Lucky for you, there are innumerable ways to incorporate this beautiful green herb in any meal. Parsley can be eaten both cooked and raw and is easily integrated into soups, stews, roasts, smoothies, dressings, spreads, marinades, and salads.
Parsley is incredibly easy to grow and will last you for two seasons, as it’s biennial. Parsley should be consumed when bright green and crisp, preferably organic, and in the dose of several teaspoons per day. With allergy season upon us, incorporating this little green powerhouse is a simple way to stay ahead of those annoying, sometimes agonizing symptoms.
1. “Seasonal Allergies.”ACAAI Public Website, 29 Oct. 2018, acaai.org/allergies/seasonal-allergies.
2. “Does Diet Influence Seasonal Allergies?” DrFuhrman.com, www.drfuhrman.com/elearning/eat-to-live-blog/131/does-diet-influence-seasonal-allergies.
4. Parsley, www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=100.
5. Levy, Jillian. “The Antioxidant-Rich Herb That Supports Immune, Digestive & Bone Health.” Dr. Axe, 6 Mar. 2020, draxe.com/nutrition/parsley-benefits/.
6. “Quercetin.” Mount Sinai Health System, www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/quercetin.