The pollen… THE POLLEN

A couple weeks ago, outside my window.

When you’re talking pollen count (you freaking nerd), there are some numbers you need to know if you’re going to successfully convert the weather report into practical units of misery. For instance, “normal” is somewhere in the 30–60 range, so anything above that is likely to bother somebody with allergies. When the pollen count reaches 100–120+, it’s considered “extremely high.” That’s where the chart stops.

In the past week, Atlanta’s pollen count has peaked around 5,800.

So on those occasions when I have a head — when I haven’t sneezed it right off — I’ve been trying to come up with protective remedies. I tried a dose of allergy meds. Nothing. Double dose of allergy meds, double nothing. I picked up some of that allergy gel that you smear on yourself to, I don’t know, distract the pollen a little bit. But the one thing that has really helped? Never leaving the house. I ardently recommend it.

My defense strategy does have a second tier, though, and that’s to eat more foods that supposedly help with allergies. I did some research and put together this top 10 list of foods that allergy-sufferers like myself cannot get enough of:

  • Cold-water fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, pike)
  • Apples
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Ginger
  • Spinach
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Wheat germ
  • Pineapple

I compiled this information from the Internet. I realize that it would have been no harder for some joker to inaccurately classify walnuts as helpful than it would be for me to add Oreos to the list now. But I cross-referenced a number of sources and I’m faaaairly confident that there might be something to the claims that these foods have anti-inflammatory properties. And even if I’m wrong, it’s not like a few cashews ever hurt anybody.

Eh? Oh, right, nut allergies. Crap. Well… this is about outdoor allergies only.

Anyway, I’m keeping an eye out for more recipes that feature stuff on the top 10 list. Does anyone out there have any favorites or suggestions to help me out?

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.

  • Jason

    I think adding Oreos to the list is a great next step.

  • Kristina

    I'm in the process of testing them for the list over a ten-day Oreo-heavy regimen. For science. I think it's working.

  • Jen

    I hear local honey works too, because it's made from the same pollen that is trying to kill you. Since I heard that, I always seek out local honey. I don't really have allergies this year, so maybe it works? At any rate, it tastes better.

  • Kristina

    That is a genius idea! I am going to the farmer's market this weekend and I'll get some local honey. And then I'll make more banana fritters!

  • Steve

    I recommend a giant plastic bubble. Then you can leave the house. Sort of.

  • Donna

    If volunteers are needed for the oreo study, double stuff for me please!

    As for food in general, my motto is add as much color to your meal as possible! For instance, bad sinus problems?- beta carotene (apricots,asparagus,broccoli, sweet potato, yellow corn); Vitamin C (oranges, papaya, red/yellow/orange/green peppers, strawberries,tomato juice), just to name a few! And whatever you do, don't forget your fish oil & Vitamin E. G'd I love food!!!