As the weather continues to ebb and flow, the threat of seasonal allergies becomes more and more pressing. But before reaching for an over-the-counter medicine, consider our natural food-based methods for reducing the symptoms of seasonal allergies. The best part? Most of them can be found in your neighborhood grocery store.
Take apples, for example. These tasty fruits fight inflammation, a symptom that goes hand-in-hand with allergies. Apples contain quercetin, a flavonoid with some pretty powerful inflammation-reducing abilities. You'll also find quercetin in onions and garlic—so much so, in fact, that they have the same qualities as an antihistamine. Plus, they add great flavor to your cooking!
Eat red grapes for their antioxidants and the resveratrol found in the skin, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties. Many studies link resveratrol to improved heart health and longevity, most recently in a new study conducted at Harvard Medical School. Why take synthetic resveratrol when you can find it naturally in a delicious and nutritious grape?
While you're at it, don't forget your daily dose of those tried and true citrus fruits –like oranges, grapefruit and lemons—all rich in vitamin C to stave off allergy and cold symptoms.
Looking for more veggies that will keep the sniffles and sneezes away? Try broccoli and collard greens. Broccoli helps to clear up sinus passages and is full of vitamin C. Collard greens are rich in a nutrients called carotenoids which reduce allergic reactions.
When it comes to allergy fighting protein sources, look to fish and nuts. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can actually improve the immune system and help fight inflammation. The vitamin E found in nuts helps to boost immunity and prevent inflammation.
For a super sweet allergy fighting remedy, especially when you are in a new area, try locally produced honey. Bees collect pollen from regional flowers, so the honey produced locally will help build up a tolerance to the local pollen and reduce allergies. While there are conflicting opinions about its effectiveness, a 2011 study by the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology demonstrates how local honey can result in a significant reduction of symptoms. Besides, buying locally produced honey supports a local business—something that is good for the health of your community.
And keep in mind, for all our recommended allergy-fighting foods, always try to select organic or locally grown farmer's market options. They're the best choice for your body.