By Heather Legg
We know with as most conditions, the better our overall health and well being, the better able we are to fight allergies. This isn’t a cure all to completely eliminate allergies, but out body can fight allergies (especially environmental and seasonal) when it is in its best possible form. One way to do with this is by eating a good, varied diet of fruits and vegetables, and a good mix of bright colors ensures this.
Green – these include spinach, kale, honey dew, green apples and grapes, kiwi, broccoli, arugula, parsley, only to name a few. They are plentiful and everyone has got to like some of htem! They contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. Not only can they reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels and enhance vision, but they are also known to boost immune system activity, which in turn helps with allergies.
Red – These are foods like raspberries, strawberries, beets, red grapefruit, cherries, tomatoes, and red peppers. They contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, to name a few, and there have been studies done, especially on Quercetin alleviating allergy symptoms. Also cherries have been known to help with headache relief, a common symptom of allergies.
Yellow and Orange – foods like apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peaches, oranges, pineapple, lemons, tangerines, pumpkin, butternut squash, and carrots, get their color from carotenoids, which strengthen your immune system among other benefits, again helping your body maintain better allergy control.
Blue and Purple – Blackberries, blueberries, plums, grapes, raisins, eggplant, purple potatoes, and purple asparagus all contain many nutrients which include vitamin C, fiber, and quercetin. These nutrients again do a lot for the body, including boosting the immune system activity and supporting healthy digestion as well as fighting inflammation (which helps with allergy symptoms as well, think of your puffy eyes and stuffy nose). Remember Quercetin is an important nutrient in the battle against allergies.
Treat your plate as a color wheel and see if your allergy symptoms improve. Remember you need a smattering of each color to get the most benefit. This will also help you get the recommended number of fruits and vegetable that you need and keep you feeling better overall. Many of our more common foods are making their way into our supermarkets in different colors. You can find purple asparagus, orange cauliflower, golden raspberries, yellow watermelon and a whole rainbow of bell peppers. Have fun with it, explore new foods and enjoy them!