Our buddy Dr. Ian Smith is back, and this time he's giving us tons of helpful tips about seasonal allergies — including the fact that you can develop allergies at any point in your life.
And while you might not be able to prevent the allergies from developing, there ARE steps you can take to minimize your symptoms.
Interestingly, watching your diet can actually help keep your seasonal allergies (like hay fever and asthma caused by allergies) under control, according to Dr. Ian.
Here are three things he suggests keeping in mind when it comes to what you're eating and drinking during allergy season.
1. CHOOSE CHICKEN OVER BEEF
"You always want to choose chicken over something like red meat," he says. The doc says research has found that people with diets high in trans oleic acid — which is a form of monounsaturated fat found mostly in dairy products and meat — are much more likely to experience hay fever than people with low amounts of trans oleic acid in their diets.
2. EAT A RAINBOW
Color is key when it comes to maintaining a balanced diet. Colorful fruits and veggies are full of antioxidants, Dr. Ian says, so "eat a rainbow!"
Focus on whole foods and try to stay away from inflammatories like processed foods and alcohol, the doc says.
3. TAKE FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS
A diet high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce overall inflammation, which is a major trigger of allergy symptoms.
Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can take fish oil supplements in pill or liquid form to help reduce inflammation, Dr. Ian continues.
"The most important thing is that no two people are the same when it comes to allergies," Dr. Ian says. "Know your triggers, avoid your triggers and do not be afraid to seek help from your doctor, because having a flare-up can be really bad."
As always, consult your doctor if you have any questions about treating allergies or their symptoms.