There are few things more miserable than allergy season, but luckily there's help. These five allergy-fighting foods may provide natural allergy relief for those days when your watering eyes, runny nose and itching skin try to get the best of you.
1. Fatty Fish
Eating fish may soothe allergy symptoms. This is thanks to DHA and EPA, two kinds of healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. It's more effective to get your omega-3s from a food source rather than a supplement, so make sure salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, bluefish or herring are on the menu during allergy season. If you don’t eat fish, try walnuts or flaxseeds to get your dose of omega-3s.
A study in the journal Clinical and Experiment Allergy found that Lactobacillus casei, a probiotic founds in yogurt, may be helpful for allergy sufferers. People who had allergies and ate yogurt had lower levels of antibodies the immune system makes in response to allergic reactions. The theory is that probiotics help balance bacteria, which help the immune system to keep from overreacting to allergens.
3. Collard Greens
Carotenoids in collard greens can help alleviate allergy symptoms. Look at your veggies: the darker the leaves, the more carotenoid. For your body to absorb the nutrients of collard greens easily, the collards must be cooked for 20 to 60 minutes before you eat them.
The plentiful antioxidants in garlic may help you ward off hay fever. Research has found a link between high levels of certain antioxidants – like those contained in garlic – and fewer incidences of hay fever. You can break a whole garlic clove into small chunks and swallow them like pills. As the garlic travels to your colon, your stomach acids will break them down and the antioxidants will be released. If you can’t stomach the idea of eating garlic whole, use it as a seasoning on your food instead.
5. Peaches, Grapes, Apples, Cherries and Pears
Fruits that contain quercetin are especially good to eat during allergy season. Quercetin is a flavonoid phytochemical shown to have antihistamine properties. Eating foods with quercetin can be good for nasal congestion.
In general, it’s always a good idea to stock your diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. This ensures an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By boosting your immune system, healthy foods can act as a line of defense against allergies and other ailments.