7-Day Menu for Spring Allergy Season
Lunch: Vegetarian quesadilla (made with grilled onions and bell peppers, Jack cheese, and a whole grain tortilla) served with fat-free refried beans and hot sauce or taco sauce, yogurt parfait (made with layers of light or plain yogurt with active cultures and vitamin D, frozen blueberries, and fortified whole-grain cereal).
Dinner: Ground sirloin or turkey meatloaf served over horseradish mashed potatoes (hot cooked potatoes blended with low-fat milk and horseradish to taste), steamed carrots.
The scrambled eggs along with the fortified yogurt and whole grain cereal will add a hefty dose of vitamin D. Studies suggest an association between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of asthma and wheezing. It has even been proposed that vitamin D deficiency may explain a portion of the current asthma epidemic.
Caffeine from tea or coffee can act like antihistamine in the body, according to Leopold, but the tea and coffee need to be of high quality and freshly brewed. Hot liquid in general will have soothing effects on the throat and sinus congestion.
Horseradish not only offers the mucus-thinning benefits of other “hot” spices, but studies have indicated that some horseradish constituents may have antibiotic activity. The hot sauce will also help clear the sinuses.
Day 5: Meals for the Spring Allergy Season
Breakfast: Toasted whole wheat bagel and light cream cheese, melon wedges, freshly brewed hot coffee or tea.
Lunch: Italian chicken wrap made with grilled chicken, pesto, fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and romaine lettuce, fresh fruit cup.
Dinner: Ginger shrimp stir fry made with shrimp, kale or broccoli, fresh ginger, and a little canola oil served over steamed rice or cooked noodles with a side of mandarin oranges.
All of the vegetables in today’s menu are rich in quercetin, a flavonoid phytochemical that might help suppress the allergic response by controlling the release of histamine.
Fresh ginger is featured in the shrimp stir fry (the third serving of fish this week). Anecdotally, according to Leopold, using spices like ginger, cayenne, and turmeric seem to help patients who suffer from seasonal allergies.