An embarrassing runny nose can seem to strike at the most inconvenient moment. You have probably found yourself minding your own business when suddenly your nose begins to drip like a broken faucet, and you think to yourself, “Where are the damn tissues!?”, which inevitably sends you scrambling to the restroom in a flurry of nose activity. A runny nose isn’t just a symptom of looming sickness. It can also be a result of the foods you eat or even unknown allergies that you may have. A nose can run for all sorts of reasons, including infections, allergies, and irritants.
If a chronic runny nose is left unchecked, you can miss out on the opportunity to discover what may be ailing your body. Check out these 3 things that can cause a runny nose and natural remedies to alleviate your annoying symptoms.
You either love them or hate them, but often they are unavoidable in some of the world’s best dishes. Peppers are in hot wings, spicy dips, sandwiches–you name it! Tantalizing peppers can cause eye watering and a fiery mouth. So why do peppers make your nose run like a broken faucet? It’s all about capsaicin which is the pungent alkaloid of the red pepper.
Ground pepper can also be particularly allergy-inducing when inhaled. Because once peppers are finely ground, they can stimulate nerve cells inside the nose and trigger allergies as the body tries to clear out the unwanted particles.
Spices, in general, contain a variety of proteins with potential allergenicity. The interesting part of spice allergies is the fact that the primary allergens in spices are actually a part of the plants’ defense system. These defense proteins are induced under stress conditions, such as the presence of microbial pathogens, and assist plants in resisting biotic and abiotic stressors.
Although peppers have been known to instigate allergies, cayenne pepper seems to do the exact opposite. Cayenne pepper might sound like the last thing you would use to alleviate allergies, but the pepper contains quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. It can prevent throat and nasal irritation while lessening the symptoms of allergies.
Peppers can even be useful for other purposes such as pain relief, cancer prevention, and weight loss.
Gluten and Wheat
At the mention of the word “gluten,” I have to reference the words of the well-known comedian Seth Rogen from the movie ‘This is the End’, “Whenever you feel s*****, that’s ‘cause of gluten.” Up until the last decade, most people were unaware of what gluten truly was. As Rogen also said, “Gluten is a vague term.” However, even with the mystery surrounding gluten, an impressive amount of restaurants across the globe are boasting the title of “gluten-free” dining establishments.
Simply put, gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, according to The Celiac Disease Foundation. That includes wheat berries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, rye, and barley. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape by acting as the glue to hold food together.
If your nose starts to run or you experience other symptoms such as hives, rash, stomach ache after eating cereal, bread or pasta, you may have a gluten allergy! If you’re experiencing symptoms, you’re not alone. About every 1 in 133 Americans suffer from gluten allergies.
It’s important to know that a gluten allergy is different than a wheat allergy. Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity have many symptoms in common; however, wheat allergy symptoms are usually more apparent. A wheat allergy is an immune reaction to proteins in wheat. A wheat allergy will cause your body to your white blood cells, called B-cells, to send out immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to “attack” the wheat.
Peanuts and tree nuts
Yes, some people in the world cannot enjoy peanut butter. A peanut allergy is a food allergy to peanuts. It is different from tree nut allergies. Tree nuts are almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc. When peanuts are ingested, they can cause a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Allergic reactions can be unpredictable, and even very small amounts of peanut can cause one.
Peanut allergies are usually diagnosed as early as two years old, but some may be unaware of a lurking peanut allergy. Knowing which processed foods are notorious for containing peanuts is also helpful. Steer clear of Goobers, mixed nuts, peanut flour, egg rolls, pancakes, and certain ice creams.
A shellfish allergy is an abnormal response by the body’s immune system to proteins found in certain marine animals. In case you’re wondering what classifies as shellfish, it can be anything from shrimp, crab, oysters, lobster to squid and scallops. Shellfish allergies can cause not only a runny nose but diarrhea and wheezing as well.
You can avoid unwanted contact with foods that can cause allergic reactions by reading food labels carefully and not being afraid to ask questions when eating food you haven’t prepared yourself. How do you avoid foods that cause a runny nose? Leave your comments below.