10 Foods That May Curb Seasonal Allergies

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on November 12, 2015

Are you sneezing, stuffy, and dealing with the runny nose of seasonal allergies? There are natural things you can do that may help you feel better.

For starters, head to your kitchen. Foods aren't cures for allergies. But vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are great for your health. They keep your whole body feeling good and may also help calm your sniffles. Pick foods that are packed with great nutrition.

Try these nutrients, and you just may say bye-bye to your symptoms:

  1. Vitamin C can cut down on histamines, the chemicals in the body that cause many allergy symptoms like sneezing and runny nose. You can get it from lots of foods, namely citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits and their juices. If you’re taking other medicines, check with your doctor or pharmacist first. Grapefruit can interact with some of them.
  2. Bromelain is an enzyme that may help relieve swelling. Some studies have found that it can ease sinus congestion. Bromelain comes from the pineapple plant. So grab some pineapple chunks. Eat well, and feel better.
  3. Magnesium, a common mineral, may help you breathe easier. People who have asthma often have low levels of magnesium. Some studies show that giving it through an IV can help with serious asthma attacks. Nuts are great sources of magnesium. Try almonds, cashews, and peanuts. 
  4. Vitamin D is good for your bones. It may also help with allergy and asthma. Some studies found that people who upped their vitamin D intake had fewer symptoms. Get it from seafood like swordfish, salmon, and tuna. 
  5. Gingerol is found in fresh ginger. It may help dry up mucus so you feel less stuffy. You get more gingerol in fresh ginger than in dry ginger, so choose fresh to get the most benefits.
  6. Quercetin is a natural plant chemical that blocks histamines. Apples, all kinds of berries, and peppers are high in this nutrient. 
  7. EGCG is a compound that may help ease allergy symptoms. It's found in green tea. People drink tea to soothe sniffles and stuffy noses. But some studies say that green tea may have the benefits to really help with allergies. 
  8. Turmeric is a spice often found in curry and other Indian cuisine. It contains curcumin, which some studies say blocks histamines. It might help with congestion.
  9. Omega-3 fatty acids may help ease stuffiness and nasal swelling. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna are high in omega-3s. The American Heart Association suggests eating at least two servings of those fish a week. 
  10. Probiotics are good bacteria that live in your gut. Several studies show that they can help you digest food. Studies are underway to see if they may also give allergy relief and boost your overall quality of life. Find probiotics in fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, and buttermilk. The most popular, well-known food that has probiotics is yogurt. Make sure yogurt says "live active cultures" on the label. 

Show Sources


Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar, registered dietitian and researcher, Washington University, St. Louis.

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