Spring Time Allergies and Your Gut
Oh, Knoxville, we love you so much, and yet, when allergies sweep into our city, some of us want to run and hide.
You have probably heard that Knoxville, Tennessee has been rated one of the worst places to reside if you are an allergy sufferer. Even if you are not an allergy sufferer, it seems that our beautiful city can create allergies issues for you! #welcometoknoxville And yet, we wouldn't change where we live for the world. We live in one of the most beautiful areas on the planet with lush green vegetation present almost year round, loads of outdoor activities, and the Tennessee Volunteers. #govols
If itchy eyes, sneezing, and difficulty breathing is starting to affect you, we have some suggestions that could help make your season a little less dreadful.
1. Kitchari - Kitchari is an Ayurvedic recipe made with aromatic Indian spices, basmati rice, and mung dal beans (aka, lentils). When allergens override your system, it can cause an imbalance in your gut, making everything a little less comfortable. Preparing kitchari is a comforting process, makes your house smell delicious, and a few meals of kitchari can set your gut straight, which could in turn balance out your system. There is so much that keeps appearing on the connection between our gut health and overall health in the United States. Yet, Ayurvedic medicine has been around for centuries, and has been speaking to the connection between your guy and overall health for sometime. Ready to try kitchari?
Our favorite Kitchari recipe:
Prep time - 10 mins Cook time - 30 mins Total time - 40 mins Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients ¼ cup split mung beans
½ cup basmati rice
1 3x2 inch strip of kombu, cut into small pieces (kombu is for aiding in digestion of beans)
6-8 cups of filtered water
3-4 cups fresh, organic and seasonal veggies (use at least one green veggie such as spinach or kale and one orange or root vegetable such as carrot, sweet potato, or squash)
1-2 Tbsp of CCF blend (grin equal parts of cumin, coriander, and fennel seed)
⅛ tsp asafoetida
½ - 1 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger root
¼ - ½ cup shredded coconut
2-3 Tbsp ghee (Vegans can use coconut oil in the warmer months or sesame oil in the cooler months use less ghee if you have kapha imbalance, lots of accumulation, or excess weight)
1 tsp rock salt
Rinse the rice and split mung beans ( 2:1 ratio of rice to beans) then put them in a pot and cook with kombu and water enough to cover by at least an inch or 2 (about 3 cups of water depending on your pot). Boil until soft, 10-20 minutes. Chop veggies and cilantro and grind spices as the rice and beans cook. Add the veggies (keep kale or quick-cooking veggies out for now), add 2 more cups of water and cover.
Cook 3-5 minutes or so until the water boils veggies are starting to soften. Add more water and adjust temperature as needed.
Once veggies soften, add diced ginger, coconut, and spices (cumin, coriander, fennel, asafoetida and turmeric).
Add the kale, spinach or other quick- cooking veggies. Stir. Then add ghee and rock salt. Turn off heat, and serve with a garnish if you like, we suggest lime, coconut flakes, or cilantro.
*this recipe can be adapted using seasonal vegetables and spices
2. Neti pot - If you suffer from allergies, there is a chance your sinuses could be stopped as well, keeping you from smelling, breathing easily, or feeling exhausted. Another tool that is useful in moving mucus along in your system is a Neti pot. The process clears out nasal passages of pollen, dirt, and excessive mucus, opening up the pores. You can easily purchase a Neti pot at a pharmacy, but be sure to follow the instructions on what to put into the Neti pot, as you want to be sure to use purified water and a mixture of saline.
3. Probiotics and Prebiotics - Probiotics provide your gut with an extra dose of healthy bacteria to increase immunity. Probiotics have saved many a traveler from trouble, as they can set your gut right almost immediately, so add that to your shopping list for your summer vacation. Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as the aforementioned yogurt, sauerkraut (homemade), miso, and kombucha to name a few. Prebiotics aid the gut by the fermentation process, thereby increasing the number of healthy bacteria in our digestive system. Prebiotics are non-digestible fiber that feed the good gut bacteria through fermentation in the large intestine. They can be found in onions, garlic, greens, whole grains, apples, legumes, and more.
We strive at Rigazzi to bring to you holistic alternative ways to move well, breathe well, and be mindful. These methods are suggestions, but have been supported. We are not doctors, nor do we claim to be. These suggestions have given us relief from seasonal allergies, sinus pressure, drainage, and intestinal issues, and we hope they can help you!