Five Foods That Can Help You Prepare for Allergy Season
While many of us rely on over-the-counter medicine to treat seasonal allergies, you may want to evaluate your diet as it can also help you prepare for allergy season. That's right: Whole foods, spices, and healthy fats contain unique antioxidants that impact and enhance our immune response which can also decrease inflammatory reactions in the body. Here are five nutrient-rich foods you can start to include in your diet that may help you find relief this allergy season.
Onions contain an antioxidant called quercetin, which blocks the production and release of histamines (compounds released by cells in response to allergic and inflammatory reactions). It's likely that onions already show up in your home cooking quite a bit, but make them the star of a meal by roasting them with other root vegetables and olive oil or making Quick Pickled Red Onions.
Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric also inhibits the release of histamines, thus limiting the allergic response and symptoms associated with it. Enjoy turmeric in curries and stir-fries, use it to liven up an omelet, or enjoy golden milk—a trendy turmeric latte that's similar to chai.
Along with other fatty fish like mackerel and trout, salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are heavily lauded for their anti-inflammatory activity. One study found that individuals who took an omega-3 fatty acid supplement experienced lower markers of airway inflammation. Aim to eat two 3-ounce servings of fish per week. If you're not a fan of fish, nuts and seeds are a great choice—the specific type of omega-3s, alpha linoleic acid, has also been found to reduce allergy symptoms.
It's rich in an enzyme called bromelain and that gives pineapple anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce nasal swelling. Add pineapple chunks to a cup of plain Greek yogurt for a double dose of allergy-fighting probiotics and bromelain.
Fruits and Vegetables
Most produce contains a moderate to high amount of vitamin C, one of the most well-known vitamins for immune system health. Vitamin C is another nutrient that prevents the formation of histamine. Its effects are enhanced when it's paired with bioflavonoids, which happen to be found in the skin of fruits and vegetables—so as long as it's edible, keep the skin on when you eat fruits and vegetables!