Allergies can be best explained as an exaggerated response of our immune system. The trigger point could be anything as harmless as particles of dust, pollens, some foods or even cosmetic products which cause symptoms like sneezing, itchy throat, itchiness/rashes on skin or redness of the eyes, etc.
With the onset of an allergic reaction, we typically resort to taking a corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory) or an Antihistamine (the chemical causing the inflammation), but these anti-allergy medicines have some long term down-side effects. So why not think about including certain specific foods which will help us build immunity and manage these allergy symptoms as well?
5 Foods To Help You Fight Allergies
- Star Anise: Among spices, it contains the highest amount of Vit. C and E which are strong antioxidants, essential for reducing inflammation and improving immunity.Polyphenols present in Star anise possess anti inflammatory properties. They work as a natural decongestant. Flavonoids like Quercetin and Shikimic acid in this spice help in increasing immune cells. Thus, adding 1-2 star anise in a cup of hot tea or bowl of soup will kick out your allergy symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat or congestion. These reasons also contribute to the importance of Star Anise as a part of many medications to treat flu and infections as well.
- Pineapple: This seasonal fruit is a powerhouse of many Vitamins and minerals mainly Vitamin C, manganese and an enzyme called Bromelain. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties, which is beneficial to people with asthma or other allergic airway diseases. It’s also effective in alleviation of swelling and congestion associated with chronic Sinusitis. Manganese plays an important role in enzymatic reactions which help break down Histamine, thus controlling immune responses.
- Red Onions: have the highest Quercetin levels among all fruits and vegetables even when compared to white onions, which are relatively lower in value. Quercetin is a natural bioflavonoid which stabilizes mast cells (specialized immune cells) to keep them from releasing histamine. It helps in suppression of inflammatory mediators in allergies, asthma, sinusitis and bronchitis.
- Almonds: They are rich sources of Magnesium. Magnesium works as a Bronchodilator, as it has a calming effect on the bronchial tubes, which gives allergy relief. It also helps control levels of histamine in the blood. Almonds also contain Vit. E which have antioxidant properties, thus reducing inflammation. Albeit, avoid almonds if you are allergic to nuts.
- Probiotics: Allergies are the result of an imbalance in the immune system. Probiotics modify the intestinal flora in the gut, support the immune system and can alter the natural course of an allergy. This is an umbrella of foods ranging from curd/yoghurt, Apple Cider Vinegar, Sauerkraut to Kefir. Include any one of them in your regular meals for optimum effects.
We hope this article helps you fight allergies naturally with food. Before trying any of these, do consult with your doctor. For more topics on combating allergies, check out LIVE sessions by experts on GOQii Play. Subscribe now!