7 Foods That May Help Alleviate Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Put away your allergy pills, sprays, and tissues and get outside to enjoy the summer.

Jun 15, 2019

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Health, Allergies

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Summer is the best time to be outside and enjoy the warmer weather and longer days. Children are off from school, and this is prime vacation time for families. So get outside and enjoy it!

Unless, of course, you suffer from seasonal allergies, then being outside and exposed to plant pollens can make your nose run, your eyes tear, and if your allergies are severe could even bring on asthma attacks. It is enough to make you run to the nearest pharmacy for antihistamines.

We all know that there is a negative relationship between allergies and foods. People can have food allergies and cross-reactions to foods like cantaloupe that make hay fever sufferers itch. But did you know that foods may actually reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis – upper respiratory reactions like runny noses – and some foods can help prevent asthma?

Here's a list of seven foods to try:

Turmeric

This spice is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric's active ingredient curcumin has been linked to reducing the symptoms of people who have arthritis and could also reduce the swelling and irritation of the upper respiratory system for allergy sufferers.

Turmeric can be purchased as a spice or in pill form. It is found in curry powder, mustard, chutneys, and garam marsala.

When you cook with the spice, it is best to pair it with black pepper because that increases the bioactivity of curcumin. You can use it in stir-fry, egg dishes, couscous, rice, quinoa, or use it in a cold refreshing smoothie.

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 Onions

The versatile onion is a natural source of quercetin that research suggests is a natural antihistamine. Quercetin is best known for its antioxidant properties that stimulate your immune system, antiviral activity, and histamine release. In fact, it is the main ingredient of many allergy drugs and supplements.

Red onions contain the most quercetin, and it is much more beneficial if eaten raw. Use onions in salads, dips, guacamole, or on sandwiches and burgers.

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Citrus Fruits

Eating foods high in vitamin C has been shown to boost your immune system and to keep you from catching a cold, but vitamin C can also decrease allergic rhinitis. As an added benefit, lemons are one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

During allergy season, make sure you eat oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes. Enjoy citrus fresh or in juices and smoothies.

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Salmon and other Oily fish  

Fish is part of the super healthy Mediterranean diet that is best known to reduce inflammation and promote heart health. There's even evidence that the omega-3 fatty acids from fish could bolster your allergy resistance and even improve asthma by reducing lung inflammation too.

Cook fish on the grill or broil it indoors. There are hundreds of recipes available. You can eat it hot or cold and pair salmon with a healthy green salad for a delicious summer lunch.

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Tomatoes

When we think of Vitamin C, we usually only think of citrus fruits, but tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C. Just one tomatoes gives you 26 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. Tomatoes also contain the antioxidant lycopene that can help reduce inflammation.

Lycopene is best absorbed in your body when it’s cooked, so use canned or cooked fresh tomatoes in soups, sauces, chili, stuffed with grains, on pizza, and a host of other ways.

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Ginger

Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for many health issues, including pain, nausea, and joint pain from inflammation. Now, researchers are looking at how to use the healing compounds of ginger to treat seasonal allergies. A 2016 study, showed that ginger suppressed the production of pro-inflammatory proteins in the blood which led to the prevention or alleviation of allergic rhinitis symptoms.

You can add fresh or powdered ginger to stir-fries, curries, baked goods, or try making ginger tea

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Bee Pollen

Bee pollen has been used in folk medicine for ages against a host of diseases including allergies. Now a study has shown that bee pollen inhibits the activation of mast cells, a crucial part of preventing allergic reactions and helping to alleviate the symptoms of allergy attacks.

It is also commonly believed that bee pollen can help desensitize allergic people from the specific plants used in the pollen. Many proponents of this theory believe that you must use pollen from local sources so that the airborne allergens will not affect you.

It is best to look for bee pollen at a local farmers market. You can find it in small pellets, but the flavor is somewhat bitter so sprinkle it on yogurt or cereal or blend it into a fruit smoothie.

 

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.