Foods and Supplements That Help Seasonal Allergies

Healthy food for allergiesAllergy season is in full swing, meaning your body may be fighting an invasion of pollen with a continuous stream of histamine, the chemical that causes allergy symptoms. Bronchial and nasal passages become inflamed from this immune response, leading to sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, and watery eyes. 

Many allergy sufferers have found relief with natural remedies, including eating certain foods and taking specific supplements that are designed to reduce inflammation and calm the body’s response. If you suffer from allergies, check with your doctor to see if any of the following supplements would be safe for you to try.

Over-the-Counter Supplements

Ideally, supplements should be taken before allergy season starts in hopes of improving overall well-being and the tolerance of triggers, such as tree or grass pollen. However, it’s not too late for supplements to still provide relief. Here are a few supplements that can help decrease allergy symptoms:

  1. Turmeric:  The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, blocks mast cells from releasing histamines. Turmeric aids in reducing inflammation in the sinuses and respiratory tract. It is also an antioxidant that has immune-boosting properties, and it may also help symptoms such as congestion, cough, dry mouth, and sneezing.
  2. Probiotics:  Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that help defend against hay fever and other airborne allergens. They protect the body from harmful pathogens in the gut and help maintain the immune system.  Studies show probiotics help reduce nasal symptoms and improve overall quality of life during allergy season. Research also indicates that women should take probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding to reduce the development of allergies in the unborn child or infant.  
  3. Vitamin C:  Vitamin C is known to boost the immune system, but what you may not know is that it contains antihistamine properties and can reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. Studies have proven that children that take vitamin C regularly had fewer allergic rhinitis symptoms. Foods that are a good source of vitamin C are apples, broccoli, strawberries, and mango.
  4. Quercetin:  Quercetin helps reduce seasonal allergy symptoms because it is an antioxidant that prevents the release of antihistamines and reduces the body’s inflammatory response.  This supplement is found in apples, tea, onions, berries, and grapefruit. Scientific studies indicated that individuals that took a quercetin combination supplement showed a significant decrease in allergic symptoms, including sneezing, stuffy nose, and itchy eyes.  

Other supplements that help reduce allergy symptoms include butterbur, stinging nettle, and spirulina.  

Foods that Fight Allergies

Foods also play a role in reducing allergy symptoms. A change in your daily diet during allergy season may prove beneficial and help lessen the aggravating symptoms. Following are a few foods that can help you survive allergy season:

  1. Pineapple:  Pineapple contains bromelain, which is an enzyme that helps reduce nasal swelling and can control the immune response system. Pineapples are also an anti-inflammatory and contain vitamin C, which is an allergy-fighting antioxidant.
  2. Green Tea:  Drinking green tea, which is rich in the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), helps relieve allergy symptoms by blocking the production of histamines and decreasing inflammation. Green Tea also reduces mucus production, throat pain, and watery eyes.  
  3. Fish:  Fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 reduces inflammation and supports overall immune system health. Studies reveal that individuals whose diet was rich in omega-3 showed fewer symptoms of allergies, such as itching, sneezing, and runny nose. Research also shows that expectant mothers that took omega-3 supplements during pregnancy were less likely to have newborns with allergies.  
  4. Broccoli:  Broccoli is high in vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system and contains antihistamine properties. Broccoli is also beneficial in decreasing inflammation and blockages in the sinuses.  

Foods to avoid during allergy season include alcohol, dairy products, eggs, soy, tomatoes, and tree nuts.  These foods can increase the body’s production of histamines.

Still Suffering?

If you’ve tried allergy remedies at home but are still suffering, or, if your symptoms are severe, contact a health care provider. InstaCare helps patients with allergies find relief and create an allergy management plan. InstaCare is open 365 days a year, and you can reserve a visit time online in advance to help bypass waiting time.