Foods That Alleviate Seasonal Allergies
By Madalina Hubert
Are there really foods that alleviate seasonal allergies? Yes, and we will look at some of them below. While they are no magic cure, it’s worth exploring to see if they might work for you.
First of all, let’s look at how allergies (including seasonal allergies) occur. These happen when the body’s immune system mislabels a particular substance (such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander) as harmful and releases antibodies as a defence. The effects of these lead to reactions such as sneezing, itches, rashes, swollen eyes, and other symptoms.
So other than taking medications and staying away from pollen and other allergens, what else can you do to alleviate seasonal allergies?
One great resource is traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which has gathered wisdom over thousands of years. TCM believes that allergy symptoms are caused by an imbalance in the body’s organs. For example, itchy red eyes correspond to the liver, while sneezing and coughing relate to the lungs. To address the symptoms and root causes of seasonal allergies, TCM uses a variety of approaches that include herbs, acupuncture, lifestyle changes and diet.
In recent years, the role of diet in alleviating seasonal allergies has also been increasingly recognized in the West.
How to Alleviate Seasonal Allergies with Food
Allergy medication uses antihistamines to fight allergy symptoms in the body. But did you know that some foods naturally contain antihistamines? Of course, foods do not necessarily replace medication, but they can contribute to restoring balance in your body.
That said, here are some foods that fight seasonal allergies (and allergies in general).
1. Foods Rich in Vitamin C Are Good for You
These foods have an antihistamine effect and fight seasonal allergy reactions through their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Foods rich in Vitamin C include pineapple, citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, melons, spinach, bell peppers, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
2. Magnesium-Rich Foods Strengthen the Immune System
Magnesium builds your immunity and also has an antihistamine effect that fights seasonal allergies. Foods that contain magnesium include bananas, nuts, seeds, salmon, and leafy greens (such as spinach, kale).
3. Foods with Omega 3 Alleviate Seasonal Allergies
Foods with Omega 3 have anti-inflammatory properties, making them effective in addressing allergy symptoms. They include nuts, seeds, beans, and various fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon.
4. Quercetin-rich Foods Are Antioxidants
These foods contain the antioxidant quercetin, which can reduce inflammation and has an antihistamine effect that fights seasonal allergies. Quercetin-rich foods include leafy greens, parsley, garlic, onions, tomatoes, apples, berries, and red grapes.
5. Carotenoid-rich Foods Can Help Your Breathing
The antioxidant beta-carotene strengthens the respiratory system. Foods in this category are yellow and orange, such as carrots, yams, mangoes, papayas, spinach and kale (and other leafy greens).
In addition to these allergy-fighting foods, you can also look into foods that help detoxify the body and strengthen particular organs, such as the liver and lungs.
For tips on detoxifying the liver, read our article:
5 Detox Foods for Liver Health – Dumpling Connection
To gain a better idea of how traditional Chinese therapy can improve your health, see:
Food as Medicine in Chinese Culture – Dumpling Connection
Lastly, here are some delicious recipes you can prepare at home to enjoy and hopefully alleviate those pesky allergies as well:
Madalina Hubert is a Toronto-based writer specializing in art, culture, travel, and culinary explorations.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are purely informational and educational in nature. The information is not a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.