Have seasonal sniffles, sneezes, and itches got you down? If you suffer from allergies, you mostly reach for medicines, but there are foods you can eat that may help you reduce your allergy symptoms.
What are allergies?
Allergies are your body’s reaction to something it perceives as foreign or allergens, such as pollen, grasses, dust mites, molds etc. In response to the perceived threat, immune cells release histamines, the chemicals responsible for most of your allergy symptoms. These in turn kick-start inflammation that’s meant to keep the allergens from traveling into the body. Inflammation leads to symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, coughing and sneezing.
Many of the foods that may assist reduce allergies work by reducing inflammation or calming the immune system. Some of these foods include:
Yogurt is a healthy source of probiotics. Probiotics are known as “friendly bacteria,” and are similar to bacteria found in your digestive tract. These live beneficial bacteria help keep the flora and fauna in your gut, where many immune cells are located, healthy. They help regulate your immune system so that you have fewer allergy symptoms. Probiotics stimulate the body to produce certain white cells and antibodies, as well as various growth factors that are important for keeping the body from overreacting to allergens.
Onions are loaded with quercetin, an antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation. Quercetin also helps prevent the release of histamine from immune cells called mast cells. Moreover, quercetin helps improve the body’s absorption of vitamin C, another antioxidant with immunity boosting powers. Other good sources of quercetin are apples, berries, peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits etc.
Pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain. Bromelain is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and a popular sneeze-stifling supplement. Bromelain can ease sore throats and irritated sinuses, and reduce irritation in allergic diseases such as asthma. Moreover, pineapple is rich in vitamin C, another allergy fighting antioxidant. To get the most benefits from pineapple, it is recommended to eat the fruit fresh.
Since ancient times garlic has been considered as a medicinal superfood and has been used as a medicine for a broad range of ailments. Garlic supports the immune system with its rich store of antioxidants. Intake of garlic on a daily basis can help prevent allergic reactions. Moreover, garlic also contains a good amount of vitamin C, an allergy fighting antioxidant.
Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries because of its several health benefits. Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, can block the release of histamine to prevent allergy symptoms from developing. Curcumin has a powerful capacity to prevent all sorts of inflammation. The higher your inflammation, the higher your possibility for allergies.
Consuming a fatty fish like salmon is one of the best ways to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which help minimize inflammation, a direct cause of most allergy symptoms. Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids may also be helpful in reducing asthma symptoms. Other foods rich in inflammation-fighting omega-3 include walnuts and flaxseeds.
Fruits rich in vitamin C
Oranges, strawberries, apples, watermelon etc. are rich in vitamin C. High levels of vitamin C reduce histamine and help it break down faster, once it’s released, providing relief from allergy symptoms. Moreover, vitamin C foods also provide allergy relief by reducing inflammation.
Out-of-control allergies can cause a lot misery. Changing your diet may help ease some symptoms, but it’s no substitute for treatment with allergy medication. Right medical care will get your symptoms under control.
Eat Well to Live Well!