Is pollen season getting you down? Don’t feel defeated. Juice your way through it!
Fresh-pressed juice is a bright and therapeutic cocktail of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and disease-fighting phytochemicals. With the bulk of the fiber removed, these nutrients are instantly absorbed while the digestive system gets a break to heal and restore.
Over time, juicing can calm the body’s allergic response by:
- speeding up detoxification
- improving digestion
- boosting immunity
(For a basic explanation of the body’s allergic response, go back and read Allergies 101)
My Top 5 Juicing Foods for Allergy Season
1. Dark Leafy Greens
Drinking juiced greens (such as spinach, parsley, cilantro and kale) is a great way to detoxify the body.
Green juice is also deeply nourishing to the nervous system. Allergic response has been linked to dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system.1 Juiced greens infuse the nerves with a healthy dose of magnesium, calcium and potassium.
Juicing tip: You won’t get much juice from greens alone, so mix them with fruits and vegetables that yield a higher volume of liquid, such as cucumbers and apples.
Turmeric is the most researched herb in the history of western medicine. Its active agent, curcumin, is famous for its ability to target inflammation via multiple signaling pathways. (For a visual, take a look at this chart.)
Another way curcumin counteracts allergies is by modulating (i.e., balancing, or bringing into proportion) the activities of a confused and hyperactive immune system.2
Juicing tip: A knob of turmeric adds an exotic earthiness to fresh juices. It tastes similar to its relative, gingerroot.
Bromelain, the digestive enzyme in pineapple, supports gut health by breaking down proteins in foods. It is also known to prevent inflammation in the digestive tract and reduce swelling in the respiratory system.3, 4
Juicing tip: Pineapple creates a lot of juice and mixes beautifully with herbs and leafy greens!
Cabbage juice is an amazing source of the amino acid glutamine. Glutamine (also known as vitamin U) is vital to proper gut function. Studies show that concentrated cabbage juice is powerful enough to heal peptic ulcers (open wounds in the digestive tract).5
Juicing tip: Although cabbage juice has a mild flavor that assimilates well into any juice, its effect is potent. Add in no more than a 1-2” wedge and sip slowly. You may be able to increase the amount over time.
Lemon (and lime) juice is a good source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects the immune system and reduces the severity of allergies.7 Exactly how vitamin C protects immunity is still being studied, but it seems to work in concert with other nutrients to guard against immune system deficiencies.
Juicing tip: Lemon neutralizes bitterness and adds a lovely brightness to green drinks!
Inspired? Here are 3 winning combinations. Juice, stir and enjoy!
1. Pineapple Cilantro
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro
- 4 large mint leaves
- 1 small knob of ginger
- ¼ pineapple (the core can be juiced)
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 lime
- 2 cups spinach
- 1-inch wedge of cabbage
- 1 green apple
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 lemon (or lime)
3. Turmeric Lemon Tonic
This is more of a tea than a juice but it offers many benefits and doesn’t require a juicer so I wanted to include it.
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons raw honey
Place turmeric in a mug and pour in boiling water. Allow it to steep for ten minutes. Stir in lemon juice and honey.
To your health!
1) Ishman SL, Martin TJ, Hambrook DW, Smith TL, Jaradeh SS, Loehrl TA. Autonomic Nervous System Evaluation in Allergic Rhinitis. 2007 Jan;136(1):51-6.
2) Jagetia GC, Aggarwal BB. “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin. 2007 Jan;27(1):19-35. Epub 2007 Jan 9.
3) Hale LP, Chichlowski M, Trinh CT, Greer PK. Dietary supplementation with fresh pineapple juice decreases inflammation and colonic neoplasia in IL-10-deficient mice with colitis. 2010 Dec;16(12):2012-21. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21320.
4) Secor ER Jr, Shah SJ, Guernsey LA, Schramm CM, Thrall RS. Bromelain limits airway inflammation in an ovalbumin-induced murine model of established asthma. 2012 Sep-Oct;18(5):9-17.
5) Garnett Cheney, M.D., Samuel H Waxler, M.D., Ivan J Miller, M.D. Vitamin U Therapy of Peptic Ulcer. 1956.
6) Chambial S, Dwivedi S, Shukla KK, John PJ, Sharma P. Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview. 2013 Oct;28(4):314-328. Epub 2013 Sep 1.