Springing Out of Seasonal Allergies

April 26, 2011

Now that the trees are in bloom, the days are longer, temperatures are rising, it's time to celebrate spring! For many people the lightness, bounty, and joy that is spring also comes with a darker side in the form of  sneezing, watery itchy eyes, and a runny nose. Let's take a look at a few of the foods that can help make this bountiful time of year more pleasant for allergy sufferers.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants and flavanoids. Antioxidants fight free radical damage generated by toxins, and fiber ensures proper elimination of toxins. Flavanoids are plant pigments that have a wide variety of benefits. Onions, apples, citrus peel, grapes, buckwheat and broad beans are high in the flavanoid quercetin, which is an antioxidant and natural antihistamine. Garlic contains allicin, which has powerful decongestant and antimicrobial properties.

Soup is an easy way to pack as many of these beneficial ingredients as possible into one dish. Try this simple and delicious seasonally inspired soup which is healthy and tasty even for those who don’t have allergies.

Happy Spring Soup

1 bunch asparagus, bottom snapped off

1 bunch purple and orange carrots, cut lengthwise

1 bunch spring greens, chopped

2 turnips, sliced

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, diced

2 stalks spring garlic, cut lengthwise

2 tsp black peppercorn, to taste

2 tbsp Miso paste, stirred into 1/3 cup of water

Optional: cayenne pepper, fresh cilantro or parsley

Directions: Place veggies in a pot with garlic, onion, and peppercorns. Cover veggies with boiling water and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat, let stand a few minutes, and then add miso paste.