Eating Your Way to Allergy Ease

By Heather Legg

I always think what we put in our bodies is as important as what we keep out. We work hard to make sure certain allergens don’t get in, but it also helpful to ensure that enough healthy and helpful foods get in. Eating the right things can help out with combatting environmental allergens and keeping us healthy so our resistance stays strong.

Of course, things like fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins are good for maintaining optimum health, but there are specific things that may help out with allergies.

Spicy foods: These can be a natural allergy remedy as they help thin mucous secretions and clear nasal passages. Think to spicy peppers, curry and hot ginger.

Butterbur: Not as common as spicy foods, but this has shown positive reactions in helping with hay fever symptoms. Usually this can be found in health food stores and a Swiss study has shown that taking it on a daily basis is as effective as antihistamines.

Water: I remember when one of my children had a cold, the doctor didn’t recommend decongestants or antihistamines, she recommended water. Any fluid will do, but water, of course, is best. The water thins the mucous and lets it get out of the body, just like a decongestant. Add a little lemon or orange to the water for more taste and a shot of Vitamin C. Heat the water for even better results.

Yogurt: Of course, not for those with dairy allergies, but yogurt can help maintain a healthy digestive tract which in turn helps the body over all. Unlike other dairy, it will not thicken the mucous making allergies worse. A University of California study shows that eating one cup of yogurt a day can reduce allergy symptoms by 10%. It has also been shown that yogurt is good for skin allergies and eczema.

Flavonoid Rich Foods: These act as anti-inflammatory agents and can help ease swollen nasal passages and swollen eyes. Foods like red onions, tea and bananas are high in flavonoids and can help reduce allergic effects.

Tea: Tea not only helps in the fluid department and the flavonoids, but it is also high in quercetin, another natural anti-inflammatory. A cup a day will be helpful and add another when allergies are kicking in.

Winter can be tricky as we tend to like heavier, richer foods. However, now that fruits and vegetables are available year round, it is easier to consume more of them. And who doesn’t like a nice hot cup of tea on a cold day. Keep your body healthy, and it will keep you healthy!

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