If you’ve ever dealt with seasonal allergies, you know how annoying they can be. You feel entirely fine except for a scratchy throat, runny nose and irritating chest congestion. You feel strangely half-sick: not quite enough to justify resting for a whole day but just enough to feel not entirely yourself. Feeling under constant pollen attack can be tiring, too, and you may feel unusually overtired.
At least it means there’s beautiful blossoming happening outside, right? ;)
We’ve been living a bit of this lately, having just relocated to Chicago for the summer. It’s extra pretty here, especially this time of year, and with the beauty comes pollen floating around everywhere; like, veritable mini-tornadoes of fluff and dust around the parks. The green space here is so nice (the trees and flowers are particularly gorgeous), but that pollen can pose a bit of an issue if you have seasonal allergies.
If you find that allergies flare up for you this time of year – even if you’re normally unaffected by outdoor irritants – you’re not alone. Luckily, there are some things we can do help bolster our resistance to allergens and boost our immunity for a more sneeze-free spring. One of the most powerful? Eating for immunity.
Here’s one particularly delicious way to do it: the immune boosting mushroom elixir from Dr. Will Cole, a functional medicine and clinical nutrition practitioner in Pittsburgh. This delicious elixir contains a powerhouse of antioxidants from adaptogenic mushroom powders. These will provide your immune system the boost it needs fight off those pesky seasonal allergies (and as added bonuses, these can also balance your hormones and help your system more effectively manage stress).
Freaked out by mushrooms (or the idea of mushroom smoothie)? No worries: the coconut, honey, dates and cacao do a brilliant job of masking the earthiness (if earthiness isn't your thing). This elixir - erm, smoothie - tastes like a chocolate shake but with dozens more beneficial properties.
Many natural food stores or holistic pharmacies (including Thrive Market online) carry many of these ingredients, in case you're looking for where to find cordyceps and turkey tail. ;)
Immune-Boosting Mushroom Elixir
Makes 2 smoothies
- 1 1/2 cups plain full-fat organic coconut milk, chilled
- 1/2 teaspoon each of organic powdered chaga, reishi, lion's mane, turkey tail, cordyceps, shiitake, and himematsutake
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon raw organic honey
- 2 pitted medjool dates (more if you want it sweeter)
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Himalayan sea salt to taste
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Serve cold, or, if it's chilly where you are, warm it up in a pot and enjoy!
**If you're being careful with your sugar intake (or if 1 tbsp of honey is enough for you), skip the dates and instead use a little extra chia for texture
For more on Dr. Will Cole, his online practice, a great blog and his unique insights into living holistically, check out drwillcole.com.
Take care this spring!
Recipe shared with permission of Dr. Will Cole and Triple 7 Public Relations.