Chicago Health | Homepage
Foods to help relieve allergies

Foods to help relieve allergies

By Jessica Migala

Achoo! Gesundheit! When you suffer from allergies, your body launches an immune response against an irritant — pollen, grass, mold — triggering itchy, watery eyes, congestion, a runny nose and general misery. Here are three foods to help keep the wheezing and sneezing under control, plus your allergy questions answered.

Broccoli

These little green trees are rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that’s been found to fight airway inflammation, helping allergy and asthma suffers stay wheeze-free, research shows. One University of California, Los Angeles, study suggests you only need to chow down on 100 to 200 grams — about one cup — of the super-veggie per day.

Salmon

Serve up this sneeze-fighting fish tonight. The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA in salmon act as antioxidants and prevent your body from releasing histamines, chemicals that cells pump out during an immune response causing allergic reactions, notes a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Other omega-3-rich fish to try: mackerel, sardines and tuna.

Citrus

The flavonoid quercetin, found in citrus like oranges and lemons, may help thwart symptoms like sneezing, runny nose and congestion, reports a Japanese study. Quercetin seems to help blunt the expression of the genes that control the histamine response. Apples and red wine are two other quercetin-rich foods.

Allergies 101

Should I skip sugar, gluten or dairy if I have seasonal allergies?

Giving up sugar, gluten or dairy for seasonal allergies is unnecessary, says Clifford Bassett, M.D., founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York. The theory is that sugar, gluten and dairy can cause inflammation, which is an immune response. Since allergies are an immune system overreaction, these foods have your immune system on high alert already so your body could be more prone to overreacting to allergens like pollen. So, theoretically, cutting out inflammatory foods will lessen symptoms. The problem? “There’s no scientific evidence to support this theory,” says Bassett.

Will disinfecting everything protect me from allergies?

Actually, a house that’s too clean could put your kids at an increased risk for allergies. For instance, kids of families who washed dishes by hand were 43 percent less likely to suffer from eczema, asthma and allergies than those whose parents used a dishwasher, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. Hand washing removes fewer germs than the dishwasher, and increased exposure to microbes may have a protective effect, helping to shore up children’s developing immune systems, researchers say.

Do certain foods exacerbate my allergies?

There is a link between seasonal and food allergies. It’s called oral allergy syndrome (OAS). When you eat certain foods, your body thinks you’re also consuming pollen. “Over half of people who have seasonal pollen allergies may experience ‘oral allergy’ symptoms that include tingling, itchiness and/or mild swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue and throat after eating certain foods,” says Bassett. Here’s a look at the foods that may cause OAS. (If you really love these foods, cooking can destroy the problematic proteins, alleviating this effect. Peeling sometimes helps too.)

Allergy: Birch pollen

Watch out for: Almonds, apples, carrots, celery, cherries, coriander, fennel, hazelnuts, kiwis, peaches, parsley, pears, plums

Allergy: Grass pollen

Watch out for: Celery, melons, oranges, peaches, tomatoes

Allergy: Ragweed

Watch out for: Bananas, chamomile tea, cucumbers, dandelion greens, echinacea, melons, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, zucchini

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)

(c) 2017 EATING WELL, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Similar Articles

Make your diet more nutrient-dense

Make your diet more nutrient-dense

Environmental Nutrition By Matthew Kadey, M.S., R.D., Environmental Nutrition Newsletter There is only so much food you

Gluten related symptoms: Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?

Gluten related symptoms: Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?

The Medicine Cabinet: Ask the Harvard Experts By Howard LeWine, M.D. Q: I seem to be very

Start treatment now to prevent spring allergy symptoms

Start treatment now to prevent spring allergy symptoms

The Medicine Cabinet: Ask the Harvard Experts By Howard LeWine, M.D. Q: I have spring allergies. Every

Does your doctor’s gender matter?

Does your doctor’s gender matter?

By Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. Harvard Health Blog I've read medical research studies that surprised me. I've

10 tips to fight osteoporosis

10 tips to fight osteoporosis

Environmental Nutrition By Carrie Dennett, M.P.H., R.D.N., Environmental Nutrition Newsletter Because 70 percent of our bone destiny

Articles By Category

Family Health

In The Know

CH Lifestyle

June 2017
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
May 28, 2017 May 29, 2017 May 30, 2017 May 31, 2017 June 1, 2017 June 2, 2017 June 3, 2017
June 4, 2017 June 5, 2017 June 6, 2017 June 7, 2017 June 8, 2017 June 9, 2017 June 10, 2017
June 11, 2017 June 12, 2017 June 13, 2017 June 14, 2017 June 15, 2017 June 16, 2017 June 17, 2017
June 18, 2017 June 19, 2017 June 20, 2017 June 21, 2017 June 22, 2017 June 23, 2017 June 24, 2017
June 25, 2017 June 26, 2017 June 27, 2017 June 28, 2017 June 29, 2017 June 30, 2017 July 1, 2017

Recent Comments

Fund a Cure Night | The Griffith Family Foundation

Fund a Cure Night | The Griffith Family Foundation

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE
Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE

Archives