Suffering from allergies is never fun. Besides for ensuring you have the right medication in reach when you need it, you can do something else to keep your allergies under control or prevent attacks: check your plate! By fuelling your body with important nutrients gained from special superfoods, you can help to alleviate your allergies.
Bring on Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Allergies are essentially inflammation in the body. Some foods have anti-inflammatory properties so they should be consumed if you suffer from allergies. These include:
A 2008 study that was published in the International Immunopharmacology journal stated that ginger can decrease the body’s immune response to inflammation when it came to allergic asthma.
If you are intolerant to a protein called casein in milk, dairy is best avoided. However, if not then Greek yogurt should be part of your regular diet. It contains probiotics that lower inflammation in the gut. This is important because probiotics balance digestive system bacteria, making the immune system less likely to overreact to allergens such as pollen.
A fascinating study from 2014 showed that garlic works in a similar way to NSAID pain medication (such as ibuprofen), which helps to block pathways that can cause inflammation. This is because garlic contains an essential fatty acid called ethyl linoleate (ELA) that is known to fight inflammation.
- Omega-3 foods
Foods such as fatty fish that contain omega-3 can be useful when it comes to asthma. If you’re vegan or simply don’t like fish, supplements can work just as well. In a study, children who took fish oil supplements over a period of ten months experienced decreased allergy symptoms.
Choose Natural Antihistamines
If you are accustomed to reaching for your trusty box of antihistamines, it’s good to know that your diet can also provide some natural antihistamine effects. To achieve these benefits, you should try to consume:
Tea a product that contains natural antihistamines, so drinking it daily can help to fight the body’s production of histamine, a chemical that is released during an allergic reaction. Your best bet is to drink green tea. According to Japanese research, EGCG, an antioxidant compound that is found in green tea, can prevent the body’s immune system from reacting to allergens such as pet dander, dust and pollen.
- Vitamin C
This nutrient also works as a natural antihistamine, so foods that are packed with it, such as kale, spinach, tomatoes and strawberries, all provide a punch against symptoms associated with allergies, such as sneezing and a runny nose.
Prevent Histamine Release
Besides for foods that act as natural antihistamines, quercetin is a compound that can actually prevent cells in the body from releasing histamine. It is plant-derived and can be found in a variety of foods, such as apples, tomatoes, broccoli and onions. Sometimes quercetin supplements are also recommended for allergy sufferers to help prevent attacks.
Avoid Nutrient Deficiencies
We need a range of vitamins to ensure that we are healthy and function at our best. When it comes to allergies, a lack of Vitamin D has been linked to higher incidents of it. Although you get the best Vitamin D from the sun, there are some foods that contain high amounts of this essential nutrient. These include oily fish like salmon, mushrooms and fortified cereals.
Consume More Carotenoids
Carotenoids are antioxidant nutrients that help to stave off allergies such as rhinitis, an inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nose that can be caused by hay fever. So, foods containing carotenoids are good to have around when the seasons change and rhinitis runs rampant. You can find this allergy-fighter in foods such as sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and carrots. These foods help prevent facial spots as well.
By bringing more superfoods into your diet on a regular basis, you give your body an extra powerful defence against the frustrating and draining effects of allergies.