Fruits Rich in Vitamin C
Blame itchiness, hives, and other discomfort you feel during an allergic response on histamine. Vitamin C can help you with that. “Vitamin C indirectly inhibits inflammatory cells from releasing histamine,” says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, medicine director of the Nutritional Magnesium Association. Studies have shown that high levels of vitamin C reduce histamine and help it break down faster, once it’s released, providing allergy symptom relief.
In addition to its histamine-fighting power, vitamin C foods also provide allergy relief by reducing inflammation — the key to underplaying allergies. “Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it counteracts the inflammatory effects of free radicals,” Dr. Bielory says. Simply put, foods containing vitamin C, such as oranges, strawberries, apples, and watermelon, counteract the inflammatory allergic response.
Eat to Ease Your Allergies
Seasonal allergies can make you sniffle, sneeze, and feel congested. The main cause is pollen. Unfortunately, no diet will cure allergies. But could what you eat affect how bad your symptoms get? Here are some of the foods that researchers are studying to see if they might help — or make matters worse.
You’ve probably heard of the traditional Mediterranean-style diet, which is rich in plant foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts), olive oil, and fish. One large study of children in Crete (part of Greece) found that the more closely children stuck to the Mediterranean diet, the less likely they fruits were to have hay fever. The researchers found that local grapes stood out and note that antioxidants in those grapes may have helped.
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that is found in red wine, grapefruit, onions, apples, black tea and, in lesser amounts, leafy green vegetables and beans. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, and inhibits the growth of histamine, which can trigger an allergic response. Research also shows that quercetin blocks substances involved in the development of allergies and therefore can reduce allergy symptoms. Quercetin is a safe, natural therapy that may be used as a primary treatment or in conjunction with conventional methods of treating seasonal allergies.
Is the best source of bromelain, an enzyme that has anti-inflammatory effects and can reduce nasal swelling, making it easier to breathe. Studies also show that it inhibits the development of allergic airway diseases and asthma.
Grill thick slices of pineapple until lightly browned, and serve with coconut ice cream; combine chopped pineapple, diced red peppers, minced jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice for a tropical salsa; toss pineapple cubes with shredded cabbage, chopped mint, sliced red onions, and a light mayo-based dressing for a fruity slaw.
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