- Five on Friday
- Specialty Topics
Another spring in the Carolinas brings another brutal allergy season. You’ll take relief anywhere you can get it. What about changing your diet? No problem, you say. But what should you change it to? We’re happy to tell you.
Some foods to eat…
Fruits and vegetables like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, berries, kiwis, and red peppers are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for boosting your immune system and reducing the inflammation associated with allergic reactions.
Not only does pineapple contain vitamin C, but it also contains an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory, which can help with allergy-related asthma.
Salmon, tuna, and walnuts are all high in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help reduce harmful inflammation.
If you like spices in your food, turmeric has anti-inflammatory qualities, much like foods with vitamin C or omega-3 fatty acids. It can also block the release of histamines, which helps prevent allergy symptoms from developing.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, have been shown to clear out blocked sinuses. Kale is also high in carotenoids, which are believed to help fight allergy symptoms.
Onions, garlic, and apples contain a chemical called quercetin, which acts as an antihistamine. Eating them two of three times a week may help reduce allergies.
Magnesium is also good for fighting allergies, since it reduces the allergic response in your body. Almonds, cashews, tofu, and avocados are high in magnesium.
…And some to avoid
While these are some great foods to eat, you should try to avoid eating processed food and fast food. These are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which, unlike their omega-3 counterparts, actually increase inflammation. Processed and fast food also have more refined carbohydrates, which can also increase inflammation.
One more thing
While the foods listed in the first section are all good at reducing pollen allergy symptoms, some foods can actually trigger a pollen-allergy-related condition that simulates food allergies. This is called oral allergy syndrome, and you can learn more about it in this blog.
"Often, a simple dietary change can make a huge difference in how well a patient feels,” CEENTA ENT doctor Roy Lewis, MD, said. “Dietary changes need to be something that you can live with. Fad diets are hard to maintain and as such, they are quickly forgotten. A well-balanced diet with a good variety of the foods above can help with symptoms but remain fun to eat."
This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. If you have allergies and would like to make an appointment with Dr. Lewis or any of CEENTA’s ENT doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.
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