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Sunday, April 12, 2015

10 Foods To Fight Seasonal Allergies

#Allergies #Food #Health #Diet #Natural #FoodFriday #Wellness #HomeRemedy #HealthyFood #HealthyLiving #Vitamins

DISCLAIMER: The following post is for education and entertainment purposes, and is not intended to be used as medical advice. Always consult your doctor, and do your own research, before using any herbal medicine or home remedy!

   Allergies are really just a big misunderstanding. They happen when a foreign material (say, pollen) is mistaken for something harmful. Your body thinks it's being attacked, so your immune system fights back with antibodies to kill the invader. It's these reactions that cause the irritation, runny/stuffy nose, and scratchy throats associated with allergies.

   Like most things that ail the human body, this, too, can be fought with food! Here, you can learn how the ten readily-available foods featured on this list could help fight your seasonal allergies. In addition to this, I've included a list of seven allergy-fighting ingredients, and the foods that contain them; as well as a list of what foods to avoid to keep from triggering specific allergies. Curious how your diet can affect your hay fever? Read on!

1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are one of the foods least likely to cause an allergic reaction, and are often recommended as one of the first foods for babies. They contain unique antioxidant root proteins, and lots of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine with powerful antioxidant properties.

2. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E. Studies suggest that vitamin E suppresses allergic reactions by decreasing certain antibody levels related to allergies. Vitamin E also boosts the effectiveness of the allergy-fighting selenium, which is also contained in sunflower seeds. Selenium helps your body create special proteins with antioxidant properties. 

3. Rosehips
This is the fruit of the rose plant. It's edible fresh (which is recommended, in this case, for the full nutritional benefit), but is also found dried in several herbal teas. The proanthocyanidins in rosehips inhibit histamine-producing enzymes. Rosehips are also rich in vitamin C, and a decent source of vitamin E.

4. Green Tea
The catechins in green tea help prevent histadine from converting into histamine. Additionally, hot teas can help ease allergy symptoms like runny noses or scratchy throats. If you're fond of lemon or orange in your tea, then good news! Vitamin C helps improve the effectiveness of catechins.

5. Apples
Apples are packed with antioxidants, but the real secret ingredient here is a thing called quercetin. Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihistamine, and helps lower bad cholesterol, blood pressure, risk of heart disease, and the risk of several cancers. For your allergies, quercetin prevents certain cells from releasing that pesky histamine.

6. Garlic
Yeah, it works for this, too. Garlic was a superfood before superfoods were a thing, and allergies aren't lucky enough to escape its epic healthfood powers. Garlic inhibits certain enzymes that produce inflammatory substances. It's also a decent source of vitamin C and selenuim. Daily consumption of garlic may prevent allergic reactions.

7. Turmeric
Turmeric contains an antioxidant called curcumin. Some research suggests that curcumin may lower bad cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and reduce arthritis symptoms. This popular spice from Asia and India is available both dried for cooking, and in tablet form as a dietary supplement.

8. Flax Seed
One cup of flax seed contains about 60% of the recommended daily value (for adults) of selenium. It's also one of the best plant-based sources of omega 3 fatty acids available. Omega 3s are anti-inflammatory, and may reduce allergic reactions.

9. Rosemary
This flavorful herb contains rosmarinic acid, which suppresses reactions and inflammation caused by leucocytes. It's available fresh or dried, and is used to season meats and other dishes.

10. Raw Local Honey
Local honey's supposed ability to fight allergies is largely based on anecdotal evidence, and there have yet to be any peer-reviewed studies proving its effectiveness. However, I feel it deserves a mention, here, because of how much it's widely associated with "curing" allergies. The idea behind consuming local honey is to build your immunity to allergens by consuming the trace amounts of local pollen contained in it. For this to work, the honey would have to be local, harvested in the same season in which your allergies occur, and raw; all in order to increase the chances that your honey contains sufficient amounts of the right kind of pollen. Remember that honey should never be given to children younger than 12 months.

   It doesn't stop here! Many of the active ingredients in the foods listed above are present in other foods as well. Here's a quick look at where you can find them.

Vitamin C
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Citrus
  • Guava
  • Kiwi
  • Leafy Greens
  • Peas
  • Papaya
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Bacon
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Broccoli
  • Brown Rice
  • Cabbage
  • Cheese
  • Chia Seeds
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Mushrooms
  • Sea Food
  • Whole Grains
  • Whole Wheat
Vitamin E
  • Almonds
  • Asparagus
  • Avacado
  • Broccoli
  • Fish
  • Hazelnuts
  • Kale
  • Peanuts
  • Plant Oils
  • Raw Seeds
  • Shellfish
  • Squash
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tofu
  • Turnip Greens
  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Blackberries
  • Black Grapes
  • Black Tea
  • Cherries
  • Chocolate
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Apricot
  • Black Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Buckwheat
  • Capers
  • Cherries
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Cranberries
  • Green Beans
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Tarragon
Omega 3
  • Beans
  • Beef
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Edamame
  • Fish
  • Grass-Fed Meat
  • Oysters
  • Tofu
  • Walnuts
Rosmarinic Acid
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Peppermint
  • Thyme

   Finally, you should also remember that eating certain foods can trigger allergy symptoms. Whether it's a fruit or veggie mimicking its allergy-inducing relative, or a food that worsens specific symptoms, it's good to know what to look out for. 
  • Alcohol dilates the blood vessels, which can exasperate symptoms. It also contains naturally occurring histamines.
  • Spicy foods can mimic allergy symptoms such as irritation and runny nose.
  • Dairy makes your body create mucous, which can make nasal problems more uncomfortable.
  • Grass pollen allergy sufferers should avoid celery, cherries, figs, kiwis, melon, oranges, peas, peaches, peanuts, pears, Swiss chard, watermelon, and wheat
  • Tree pollen allergy sufferers should avoid apples, celery, hazelnuts, peaches, pears, and raw potatoes.
  • Ragweed allergy sufferers should avoid bananas, cantaloupe, cucumbers, honeydew, and watermelon.
   I hope you've found this guide helpful and informative. Do you have any tricks for beating allergies? If so, please feel free to add them in the comments below!

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to check out some of my other posts. Here's what I recommend now:
Brain Hacks to Stay O Track with your Diet
Healthful, Home Made, Orange-Ginger Tea
Healthful, Home Made, Apple-Ginger Tea

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