Five Foods that Fight AllergiesArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Allergies can make the blossoms of spring a nightmare of runny noses, itchy eyes and clogged sinuses. Many sufferers swear by a dose of local honey as a great natural remedy because it contains just enough of the allergens to offer some immunity to what ails you. But honey isn’t ready this time of year in most of the country, and besides, the science behind that particular cure just isn’t there yet. So until the bees finish their business, enjoy these five foods that fight allergies—as a supplement to the regimen recommended by your doctor.
1) Kale and collard greens
Why: These leafy greens pack a triple punch to your allergy symptoms: One serving of each provides more than 100 percent of your daily Vitamin C, which has been shown to ease allergy symptoms. They’ve also got carotenoids—Vitamin A—which scientists believed battle allergy symptoms. And, like broccoli or cauliflower, they’re cruciferous vegetables, which have been shown to help clear blocked sinuses. Best of all, when prepared with minimal additional fat, both vegetables can be eaten in unlimited amounts without adding significant calories to any diet plan.
Other sources: Broccoli, cauliflower
Why: The flower buds contain an anti-inflammatory compound called quercetin. In a study from the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, patients who took a supplement containing the compound for 8 weeks experienced reduced allergy symptoms. The compound blocks the effects of histamines—the same way an over-the-counter anti-histamine fights your allergies.
Other sources: Apples and onions
Why: Because your allergy symptoms flare up when your immune system responds to an allergen, and there’s bacteria in yogurt that can calm everything down. In a study from the Clinical and Experimental Allergy journal, a probiotic called Lactobacillus acidophilus strain L-92, was shown to help with inflammation from allergic reactions and eczema. This bacteria is added to most yogurts you’ll find on the shelf.
Other sources: Milk
Why: It fights inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish are great for arthritis and asthma sufferers because the acids help reduce inflammation—the same inflammation that can cause the ache right between your eyes.
Other sources: Walnuts, canola oil, supplements
5) Green Tea
Why: Because green tea already fights cancer, reduces inflammation, and does a million other awesome things for your body—why wouldn’t it fight your allergies, too? In a 2002 study, the compound EGCG in green tea was shown to block a cell receptor that’s key in your body’s allergic responses.