Image Credit: mcfarlandmo / Flickr

What are the best foods to decrease seasonal nasal allergies (rhinitis)?

What would you recommend for nasal allergies? Hubby and I are both on a plant based diet and our allergies are better since going vegan, but it’s spring & it’s bad this year already lol.

veggiechick / Originally posted in Preventing Allergies in Adulthood


Oh, I’m so sorry you’re suffering! There was a new study published last week on diet and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (runny nose/itchy eyes) that confirmed that meat is associated with increased risk (in this case 71% higher), but that’s no help to a couple of vegans! There are four plant foods, however, associated with cutting one’s risk in approximately half:

  1. Seaweed. An ounce of sea vegetables appears to lower risk 49%–just make sure to avoid kelp and hijiki.
  2. Dark green leafy vegetables. Greens of the land may protect as much as greens from the sea. A study found that those with the highest level of total carotenoids in their blood stream (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, canthaxanthin and cryptoxanthin) had a significantly lower prevalence of seasonal allergies. See my video Egg Industry Blind Spot for a list of some of the best sources and Raw Food Nutrient Absorption and Forgo Fat Free Dressings? for the best ways to boost bioavailability.
  3. Flax seeds. Similar to the carotenoid finding, those with higher levels of both long and short chain omega-3 fatty acids in their blood stream were found to have less allergic rhinitis in a cross-sectional study.
  4. Miso. A teaspoon of miso a day was associated with about 41% lower prevalence. So try my favorite dressing on those greens: Blend until smooth in high-speed blender 3 T white miso. 1/4 cup brown rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 2 carrots, a small beet, an inch of fresh ginger root, and 1 T freshly toasted sesame seeds. Just watch your clothing as it comes out BRIGHT purple!

Image credit: mcfarlandmo / Flickr


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

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