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11 Foods To Avoid To Help Alleviate Seasonal Allergies

11 Foods To Avoid To Help Alleviate Seasonal Allergies

For thousands of people in Ottawa, the arrival of spring is a bittersweet time of year.

After surviving another long cold, snowy winter interspersed with the occasional cold or flu this is replaced by itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose triggered by the arrival of moulds and pollens.

More than 1 in 6 Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies, which equates to nearly 6 million people. The highest concentration is found in Ontario while the lowest rates are in Atlantic Canada. Exact numbers for Ottawa are not available, but it is known, by some commentators, as the allergy capital of North America.

Dependent on what you are allergic to, the allergy season can start in late March, with the melting of the snow, and last all the way through to the fall, with the first frost.

At the end of March, the chief culprit comes in the form of leaf or snow mould, which emerges as the snow melts.

Throughout the spring and most of the summer different grass, flower and tree pollens take their toll. At the end of the summer, ragweed makes its appearance and from my observation can cause the worst symptoms.


With the beginning of the allergy season, the majority of people reach for their favourite brand of histamine medication.

Histamine is a chemical produced by the body when it comes into contact with an allergen.

The release of histamine causes itchy red eyes, runny nose and sneezing.

Taking the antihistamine helps to stop the production of histamine so reducing symptoms.

Some people who suffer from seasonal allergies develop a histamine intolerance due to an excess of histamine in their bodies.

This excess is always present, so when they encounter allergens, they experience much stronger reactions.

There are some different reasons why your body might have an excess, one of the reasons is a problem with the friendly bacteria in your gut.

Histamine-containing foods

If you do suffer from seasonal allergies, an effective way to lessen your symptoms is to reduce your intake of high histamine-containing foods. These include:

  • Fermented alcoholic beverages, especially wine, champagne, and beer
  • Fermented foods: sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yoghurt, kombucha, etc
  • Vinegar-containing foods: pickles, mayonnaise, olives
  • Cured meats: bacon, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats and hot dogs
  • Soured foods: sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, sourdough bread, etc
  • Dried fruit: apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins
  • Most citrus fruits
  • Aged cheeses including goat cheese
  • Walnuts, cashews, and peanuts
  • Avocados, Eggplant, spinach, and tomatoes
  • All smoked fish and unsmoked mackerel, mahi-mahi, tuna, anchovies, sardines
  • If reducing these foods helps your symptoms then the next step is to work out why your body has an excess of histamine in the first place.

Once you have identified and resolved that reason, you will be able to go back to eating the above foods without any adverse allergy symptoms.

If you would like help with this, I offer a free consultation where we can review your case.


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you.

Do you suffer from Seasonal Allergies?

What have you tried to help your symptoms?

Let us know in the comments below.