6 Foods That May Help Curb Your Allergies

Seasonal sniffles, sneezes, and itches got you down? There are things you can eat that may ease your allergy symptoms.

No food is a proven cure. But fruits and vegetables are good for your whole body. They're full of nutrients that can keep you healthy. They may also protect you from seasonal allergies.

Try these items:

1. Onions, peppers, berries, and parsley all have quercetin. Elson Haas, MD, who practices integrative medicine, says quercetin is a natural plant chemical. According to Haas, this chemical may reduce “histamine reactions.”  Histamines are part of the allergic response.

2. Kiwi is a fuzzy fruit rich in vitamin C. It can also cut down on histamines. You can get Vitamin C from lots of foods, including oranges and other citrus fruit.

3. Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain. According to Lawrence Rosen, MD, bromelain can reduce irritation in allergic diseases such as asthma.

4. Tuna, salmon, and mackerel have Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 can help reduce inflammation. Go for two servings of fish every week. A study from Japan found that women who ate more fish had lower levels of hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis.

5. Kefir is a yogurtdrink that contains probiotics. These are good-for-you bacteria that live in your gut. Rosen says they may help prevent and even treat seasonal allergies. You can get probiotics in fermented foods. Look for yogurts that say “live active cultures” on the label. Sauerkraut and kimchi are also good sources. 

6. Local Honey. The research is mixed on whether local honey helps you head off allergies. “If you take small doses of the honey early in the season," Rosen says, "you may develop a tolerance toward pollen in your area.” One study found that people who ate birch pollen honey had fewer symptoms of birch pollen allergy than those who ate regular honey. It’s not a sure thing, but see if it works for you.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on July 07, 2015

Sources

SOURCES:

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers.”

Lawrence Rosen, MD.

Kompauer, I. Public Health Nutrition, June 2006.

Ruiter, B. Clinical and Experimental Allergy, July 2015.

Elson Haas, MD, author; integrative family doctor.

University of Maryland Medical Center: “Allergic Rhinitis.”

Pavan, R. Biotechnology Research International, 2012.

Secor, E. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, September/October 2012.

Schubert, R. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, March 2009.

American Heart Association: “Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.”

Miyake, Y. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, June 2007.

Nwaru, B. The British Journal of Nutrition, August 2012.

Gui, Y. North American Journal of Medical Sciences, August 2013.

Panzer, A. Current Opinion in Rheumatology, July 2015.

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