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Here in the southeast, pollen comes in waves…literally. Bright yellow dust covers everything! It is impossible to ignore allergy season here, as everyone suffers. Itchy, watery eyes. Constant sneezing. Drippy or stuffy noses. Itchy throats. Yuck!

The first spring we lived here in North Carolina I went blissfully unaware about exactly how bad allergy season would really be. I was too busy being in love with the fact that we were wearing shorts and sandals by March. But then the yellow dust appeared in the driveway, on our car, and on our patio furniture. It was everywhere! I had never seen anything like it before. Thankfully, the worst of it usually lasts 2–3 weeks and then relents to a more normal allergy season.

So, how does this fit into food?

Well, did you know that your gut health has a direct affect on how well you might be able to navigate the loathsome allergy season? So, maybe it’s time to eat some gut healthy foods.

Here is a summary of some tips I found on how to choose foods that could help you this allergy season:

  1. Eat fermented foods (e.g. sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir)
  2. Avoid inflammatory foods (e.g. refined sugars, vegetable/seed oils, refined carbohydrates, processed meats, alcohol)
  3. Eat local honey
  4. Eat LESS processed meat (e.g. hot dogs, bacon, sausage)

Now, if you start doing these things today, they may not help you this week with your response to the flying yellow dust, but they may help you in the long-run. In reality, these are all good first steps to improving our gut health, which will help us stay healthier year-round. And, some of those extra pounds we promised ourselves we’d be rid of after January 1 might actually start coming off.

I don’t know about you, but this is one time of year I want to be able to enjoy being outside with my family. Get out there and enjoy the beauty of the season!