Does the sight of a tree blooming in the spring bring you to tears, …literally? With allergies topping out as the 6th most prevalent cause of chronic illness in the U.S., it’s no wonder millions of people hate allergy season.
So what can be done about it?
Besides being the test dummy for an endless number of specialty medications, there are a few natural remedies that can help relieve that stuffy nose.
Read on for a list of delicious foods that fight allergies, and see how you can get some tasty relief this season.
Foods that Fight Allergies
While no one food is proven to cure allergies, some basic healthy foods will not only be better for your diet in the long run, they can also contribute to improving your allergy symptoms.
So, say goodbye to those tissues and get ready to add these items to your grocery cart.
You keep hearing it, from your doctor, your personal trainer, even those healthy food documentaries on Netflix. Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in nutritious fish dishes, are a definite health benefit.
Those Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation. This means if you’re suffering from puffy, itchy eyes, start taking in at least 2 servings of fish each week. You may start seeing some improvement.
Test out some new recipes that include the following tasty fish:
Mmm, who doesn’t like a slice of sweet pineapple once in a while? Not only is this super sweet fruit delicious to eat, but it also contains a little something called bromelain.
Bromelain is an enzyme.
Doctor Lawrence Rosen states that the bromelain, (contained in foods like pineapple), can help with allergic diseases. Irritation that comes with illnesses like asthma, for example, is alleviated when your intake of bromelain increases.
So slice up that pineapple and enjoy! For multiple reasons.
What the what? Ok, so this isn’t a food in and of itself. Quercetin is in foods.
This awesome little pigment called quercetin is found in vibrantly colored foods like onions, berries, peppers, green tea, buckwheat, apples, red wine (in moderation).
The amazing thing about quercetin is that it’s used by many as a natural cure for all kinds of ailments. Bladder infections, cancer, diabetes, are all treated with foods containing quercetin.
But for our purposes, allergies are also thought to be alleviated by consuming foods containing quercetin.
Quercetin acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Again, reducing swelling.
Another nice aspect of this anti-allergy food ingredient is that it comes in a variety of types of foods. You can take your pick of what you want to eat to get a little more quercetin in your diet.
Not to mention, with such a wide variety of quercetin-containing foods to choose from, you can have fun trying out lots of new recipes.
If you haven’t got the best air purifier out there, you could be suffering from some serious allergies this spring, even indoors. Fortunately, citrus fruits are another great food for fighting allergies.
The anti-allergy aspect of citrus fruits is the vitamin C they contain.
Fruits like kiwis, oranges, lemons, limes, cuties, grapefruit, and others contain enough vitamin C that they can make a substantial difference in your allergy symptoms.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. When consumed, it slows down your body’s production of histamine. This, in turn, helps your body react less drastically to environmental triggers (like pollen), that ramp up histamine production–leaving you with a runny nose and itchy eyes.
You may have even heard doctors or friends suggest upping your intake of vitamin C when you feel a cold or other sickness coming on.
This is due to the potent nature of vitamin C and its ability to ward off infections. Cool!
We’ve already touched on the fact that grapes contain quercetin and thus they are great allergy fighters. However, grapes also act as fantastic antioxidants.
Antioxidants are known for helping to reduce damage to your body’s cells.
They are found in grapes, berries, and many fruits and vegetables generally. The Mediterranean diet incorporates plenty of healthy antioxidants that ward off allergies.
In fact, try to stick more closely to a Mediterranean diet, in general. It will go a long way in bringing you greater health.
Add in more olive oil, nuts, fish, fresh vegetables and fruit. You’re sure to see improvements to your general well-being.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Say that five times fast. An easier way to remember it: Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids.
As mentioned, Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish. But what other foods contain this healthy nutrient?
Items like avocados, walnuts, flax, or chia seeds all contain Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids. Try spreading some avocado slices on your morning toast.
Or simply add a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your next batch of homemade muffins. It makes for a healthy treat and a more filling one at that.
These healthy polyunsaturated fats also work to reduce inflammation caused by allergies. Many people believe that when introduced to children’s diets early, these types of foods help keep childhood asthma at bay.
Are you a curry fan? If not, it may be time to give this spice a second chance.
Spicy dishes like those containing curry, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, or garlic provide immediate relief to seriously clogged noses.
These spices help mucus in your nasal passages to thin out. Ginger especially helps break up toxins so if you’re tired of blowing your nose, cook up something spicy to get those nasal passages less congested.
Just be sure to bring a pack of tissue to the dinner table.
More Natural Ways to Boost Your Health
Now that you’ve got a great list of foods that fight allergies, why not find other natural methods for improving your health and wellness?
We’ve got you covered with a variety of articles covering some great, natural, beauty and wellness tips. Feel free to browse our wellness category for more healthy ideas.