Spring is a wonderful time of year where everything comes to life with bright colors but it can be hard to enjoy if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Everything from headaches to congestion to itchy eyes are all a part of welcoming in the new season for those with allergies. Here are some foods that may help get you through:
🌼 Fresh Vegetables
Vegetables are always a good idea. For allergy relief go with carrots, yams, cabbage, beets, and Swiss chard as they’re high in quercetin. This natural compound can reduce inflammation and block histamines.
🌼 Citrus Fruits
Citrus is high in vitamin C, which can help soothe irritation of the upper respiratory system that can be caused by airborne pollen.
🌼 Spicy Foods
If congestion has you down, consider adding flavorful and spicy dishes like curry or spicy salsa to your menu. Cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon can all help open up your nasal passages to get things moving and even break down toxins in your body.
A compound in turmeric called curcumin can help calm a variety of inflammatory conditions. Turmeric can be taken as pills or it can be ground up and sprinkled on foods such as eggs, soups, or beans. Adding black pepper with it helps your body absorb it even better.
Not only are tomatoes a good source of vitamin C, they also contain an antioxidant called lycopene that can help reduce inflammation in your body. It’s been found that lycopene is absorbed better when the tomatoes have been cooked.
New research has proven that Popeye was onto something - leafy greens like spinach and kale can boost the function of your muscles.
• In a recent study, participants that consumed high levels of greens saw an increase in strength of 11% and an increase in walking speed of 4% compared to those who ate few greens.
• Leafy greens are high in nitrates, which help open up your blood vessels to improve blood flow and delivery of oxygen to your muscles.
• During exercise, oxygen plays a critical role in muscle performance and can even act as fuel for your muscles.
• Taking care of your muscles can help make everyday tasks easier and prevent injuries.
• The study found that the most beneficial greens were lettuce, spinach, kale, and beetroot due to their high levels of nitrates. Fennel radishes, cabbage, and arugula are also good sources of nitrates.
With Easter Sunday coming up tomorrow, it’s possible you’ll find ham on your plate as over 100 million pounds of ham is typically sold each year in the US leading up to the holiday. Here are some quick nutrition facts for ham:
• Ham is low in carbs, fat, and calories but is relatively high in protein.
• A 2oz serving (3-4 thin slices) typically contains:
Sodium: 26% DV
Selenium: around 60% DV
Phosphorus: 11% DV
Zinc: 9% DV
Potassium: 6% DV
Iron, Copper, Magnesium: 3% DV
• Ham’s high amounts of selenium can be used to help with thyroid health, boosting your immune system, DNA production, and protecting cells from free radicals.
• All nine essential amino acids can be found in ham, which makes it a complete protein.
• The phosphorus, zinc, and potassium help your body with fighting infections, keeping your heart healthy, and giving you energy for activities.
• Keep in mind the high amounts of sodium in ham, especially if you have conditions like high blood pressure or heart disease.