Food and Nutrition

Stuffy Nose? The Benefits of Beetroot Include Relief From Your Seasonal Allergies

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Stocksy/Jill Chen

When experiencing seasonal allergy symptoms, most people reach for an antihistamine, like Claritin or Allegra. But allergy medications aren’t the only way to find some relief. According to Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, the registered dietitian behind Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition, you can lessen the itchiness and stuffiness by adjusting your diet.

Modifying the foods you eat can have a significant impact on the frequency and severity of your allergies, says Feller. While removing certain trigger foods from your diet can help relieve symptoms—like skipping out on certain raw fruits (like bananas and oranges) if you have a pollen allergy, for instance—adding certain foods into your diet can help, too. Feller harnesses the benefits of beetroot for allergies with her morning smoothie.

“Beetroot can work as an antihistamine that quells inflammation, as they are a rich source of the antioxidant betalains. Research suggests that when consumed over time, betalains may be protective against oxidative stress.” —Maya Feller, RD

“I was experiencing stuffy ears and nose—it was so uncomfortable. So I added beetroot to my smoothie as a food-based way to help lower inflammation,” she says. “Beetroot can work as an antihistamine that quells inflammation, as they are a rich source of the antioxidant betalains. Research suggests that when consumed over time, betalains may be protective against oxidative stress.”

Beetroot isn’t the only food high in betalains that could help squash allergy symptoms. The prickly pear (which you can make juice out of) and red pitaya should also do the trick. Whether you choose to add beetroot into your smoothie—you can make things easy with beetroot powder ($17)—or another betalain-rich ingredient, your itchy, watery eyes and constant runny nose nose will become a thing of the past. I mean, is there a more delicious way to get some allergy relief?

Try this beet hummus recipe:

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