What is a special present that could come only from you? You may not have thought of this: The greatest gift you can give another human is, literally, life. Donating blood even once can help save the lives of three people -- whether they're newborns needing heart surgery, adults badly injured in car crashes, or people of any age suffering from cancer.
If you already donate, you probably know how important it is. If you don't donate, you're hardly alone. While 60% of Americans are eligible to give...
1. Onions, peppers, berries, and parsley all have quercetin. That's a natural plant chemical, says Elson Haas, MD, who practices integrative medicine. This chemical may reduce “histamine reactions,” he says. Histamines are part of your body's allergic response.
2. Kiwi is a fuzzy fruit rich in vitamin C. It can also cut down on histamines. You can get C from lots of foods, including oranges and other citrus fruit.
3. Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain, which can reduce irritation in allergic diseases such as asthma, says Lawrence Rosen, MD.
4. Tuna, salmon, and mackerel have omega-3 fatty acids. Those can help lower 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 yogurt drink that has 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 may help 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.