Springtime is in the air, and with it comes allergy season. The itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing can make even the most beautiful of days feel like a nightmare. While there are many over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help alleviate these symptoms, did you know that certain foods can also fight allergies? Here are six powerful foods to add to your diet this allergy season:
- Ginger: This spicy root has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to alleviate inflammation and respiratory problems. Ginger contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols, which have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce allergy symptoms. Add ginger to your tea or smoothies, or grate it into stir-fries or soups.
- Turmeric: Another spice that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of allergic rhinitis, a common type of allergy that affects the nose and sinuses. Add turmeric to your curries, smoothies, or golden milk.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body. In a study published in the journal Nutrients, researchers found that consuming tomato juice for eight weeks reduced symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Add fresh tomatoes to your salads, sandwiches, or salsa.
- Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, which is a natural antihistamine. Histamine is a compound released by the body during an allergic reaction, and can cause symptoms such as itching and sneezing. Vitamin C can help reduce histamine levels, thus alleviating allergy symptoms. Add citrus fruits to your water, salads, or smoothies.
- Pineapple: Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. Bromelain has been shown to help reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and can also help alleviate sinusitis, a common complication of allergies. Add fresh pineapple to your smoothies, salads, or as a dessert.
- Onions: Onions contain a compound called quercetin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. Quercetin can help reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis and asthma, and can also help alleviate skin allergies such as hives. Add onions to your soups, stir-fries, or salads.
Incorporating these six powerful foods into your diet can help alleviate allergy symptoms naturally. While they may not be a substitute for medication, they can certainly complement it and provide additional relief. Try adding these foods to your meals this allergy season and see if they make a difference for you.
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