Guess who’s back in town? Yep, allergy season has rolled in again, bringing its tissue tornado along for the ride. And if you’re on a quest to kick that pesky hay fever to the curb ASAP, worry not! The good news? Your trusty grocery cupboard and faithful fruit bowl are here to save the day.
As the climate does its change-up dance, ushering in warmer days, the sweet symphony of chirping birds and the much-awaited cherry blossom festivals, there’s a tiny catch—it might not be all sunshine and rainbows if you suffer from allergies. But before you embark on those endless pharmacy pilgrimages, how about a detour to your kitchen?
Here are the 17 foods that will keep those irritating allergies at bay.
Spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and other dark, leafy veggies are loaded with magnesium and phytochemicals. They form part of the crucifer family and are one of the healthiest foods for runners. They’re known to clear out blocked-up sinuses too.
What do these deep-purple treats have in common? One important ingredient – a compound called resveratrol. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that this compound helps to suppress allergic responses in mice.
Blueberries are “neuro-protective agents”. Studies show that these little blue power foods contain a chemical that can deactivate inflammation-causing cells.
This fish is the perfect low-calorie, low-hassle weeknight choice and it’s packed with goodness. Researchers found that the omega-3s in fatty fish keep white blood cells from overreacting.
This seed is rich in fibre, good fats and micro-nutrients. It’s considered to be a ‘wonder food’ by many people but finding creative ways to add it to meals can be a challenge. Try adding it to your homemade muffins.
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5. Legumes, Lentils and Beans
Lentils and beans aid in regulating your blood sugar, which helps to keep inflammation in check.
This zesty spice has been found to have impressive anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties as it removes excess mucus in sinuses and helps to heal respiratory issues. When you feel your allergy symptoms coming on, try eating one teaspoon of turmeric honey 3-4 times a day.
There is nothing like a warm hearty bowl of soup when you feeling ill and while many people prefer chicken soup to combat the flu, any vegetable soup can naturally battle allergies.
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You’re probably thinking how can this tropical tart fruit ease sore throats and irritated sinuses? Well, a study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that it helped ease airways.
Eat it fresh to get the most out of this fruit, as it’s a great source of the allergy-fighting antioxidant vitamin C.
A pretty little Mediterranean herb that lends a sprinkling of colour to your plate, often seen as a garnish ignored and not eaten but according to Michael Castleman, author of The New Healing Herbs, parsley inhibits the secretion of allergy-inducing histamine. So eat up.
10. Chocolate (Cocoa)
Everyone’s favourite snack, regardless of the benefits. So, you’re about to love this news, as cocoa has been found to have some anti-allergy properties. A study in the Journal Pharmacological Research reveals that laboratory animals who consumed a cocoa-enriched diet for four weeks displayed lower levels of IgE compared to rats on a standard diet.
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While watermelons consist mainly of water (92%), this invigorating fruit is rich in nutrients and contains higher lycopene content than tomatoes (both boasting elevated lycopene levels). Research has indicated that this abundance of lycopene can diminish allergic responses and the buildup of cell types that trigger symptoms in the lungs.
Elderberries contain many organic pigments and vitamins and are often hailed as a natural flu treatment but they too serve a purpose in allergy relief. Try elderberry wine or jam to get this fruit’s beneficial flavonoids that reduce inflammation.
13. Onions and Garlic
Wondering what these two veggies could have in common? Quercetin is the secret weapon that helps fight allergies by acting like an antihistamine. Onions and garlic are packed with this flavonol, as are apples.
Just be sure that if you go with eating apples, they don’t stimulate oral allergy syndrome.
Opting for the Mediterranean diet could prove advantageous in combating springtime allergies. In a study published in the Thorax Journal, researchers found that children from Crete who consumed a diet full of grapes, apples and fresh tomatoes had reduced rates of wheezing and rhinitis.
Researchers have said that the fact that their diet consists mainly of fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts; explains their lack of allergic symptoms.
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15. Hot Tea
Any time you introduce hot, clear liquids into the body, it can help thin nasal passages. How? Simply because of the introduction of steam – the same effect as filling a sink with hot, steamy water and putting a towel over your head to breathe it in.
Bonus: Green tea and Ginger tea are also anti-inflammatories that can help reduce overall allergy woes.
16. Spicy Foods
Bring on the Heat! Hot peppers, Cajun spices and even horseradish can stimulate the nasal passages to break up and relieve congestion associated with springtime allergies.
Nuts are not only the perfect go-to snack to curb hunger pangs, but they can also curb allergy symptoms. It can decrease allergy-induced inflammation around tissues in the nose and throat; this is due to their high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. More