With pollen counts pumping up sooner than expected this year, many allergy sufferers will reach for eye drops, allergy shots and other medications for relief. But what about a plate of poached salmon, a kale salad or a crisp red pepper?
Allergy-fighting antihistamines come in pill and liquid forms, but they also appear naturally in some vegetables (along with Vitamin C). Combine these with fish (rich in Omega-3) and you may be able to create an anti-inflammatory diet that could help beat back allergy symptoms. Start with your food choices -a few suggestions are given below.
Onions, Cabbage And Apples
These all contain quercetin, a compound that gives some fruits and vegetables a reddish hue. Quercetin also stabilises mast cells (which pump out histamines as your body reacts to an allergen). Consuming this regularly, in food or supplement form, lends the body inflammation-calming nutrients. And don’t get too hung up on the colour, as these foods do not need to be red in order to contain quercetin (red wine contains quercetin too, but it’s not recommended).
Bell Peppers, Brussels Sprouts And Broccoli
Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine, making these vegetables your friend (and all three contain more vitamin C than oranges!). Citrus fruits can upset histamine pathways. Other options include cauliflower, cabbage and kale. And don’t double up on the orange juice – it may make your mucus worse.
Salmon, Sardines And Mackerel
These fatty fish can beat back allergen-induced inflammation through omega 3 fatty acids. The fats incorporate into cell membranes in the body’s tissues, stabilising them. When an allergen arises, these cells are then more likely to help reduce inflammation.
Nettles, another natural antihistamine, grow like weeds in the springtime – just as allergies return. The prickly plants can go into soups, pesto, and pasta dishes and also stabilise mast cells. Many health food stores carry them. We like Holland & Barrett’s nettle tea.
Avoid Bread, Dairy And Alcohol
All of these can increase inflammation and may make allergies worse. Limit yourself to whole grains and avoid dairy, which can trigger mucus. And cut back on that red wine which can aggravate histamine pathways. Alcohol, in general, can add undue stress to your body if it’s already dealing with allergens floating in the air. You can’t control the air, but you can control how much you drink.