If you suffer from the effects of allergies such as runny nose, itchy eyes, shortness of breath, and wheezing, then chances are you’ve been prescribed a plethora of decongestants, antihistamines, and corticosteroids to ease the symptoms. While medicines are great at keeping those annoying manifestations of common allergies at bay, making simple changes to your diet can also help you feel better.
Here are 6 foods and drinks that can help towards lessening irritating symptoms and give your body a fighting chance of relief.
1. Drinking Green Tea
There doesn’t seem to be anything green tea can’t do. Packed full of antioxidants, getting your daily dose of the stuff can provide huge health benefits such as fighting cancer, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. Studies have found that the antioxidant EGCG, which is highly prevalent in green tea, fights allergic reactions because the compounds responsible for triggering allergic reactions — histamine and immunoglobulin — are blocked. In other words, it’s a natural antihistamine.
It’s recommended that drinking a cup of green tea when you wake up can help prevent morning sneezing.
2. The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diets in the world, proven by the long lifespans of the people who eat it on a daily basis. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, and nuts are all huge parts of the diet and are also packed full of antioxidants which protect cells from the oxidative damage that goes on to cause disease.
A study showed the amazing health benefits when it comes to asthma and allergies. In it, children who ate a rich Mediterranean diet were more protected from the symptoms of asthma and nasal allergies. In particular, grapes, oranges, apples, and fresh tomatoes were the main foods that helped against wheezing and nasal allergy symptoms.
3. Probiotic Foods
Probiotics are best known for maintaining a healthy digestion, but how is this linked to allergies? The health of your digestive tract is pretty essential for your overall health, but in particular, the delicate balance of microflora can help you fight off allergens and infections therefore boosting your immune system.
The positive effects probiotics found in foods such as yoghurt have been found to reduce growth of bad bacteria and have a direct influence on immune response and stimulate production of immune-enhancing substances. Therefore, adding probiotics to your gut can help to ease symptoms of nasal allergies.
4. Quercetin-Rich Foods
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in certain foods that has been found to be pretty powerful in providing allergy relief. They work by acting as mast-cell stabilizers — mast cells being responsible for releasing histamine — which means the number of cells that react to an allergen is reduced.
Foods such as apples, onions, tea, and red wine are rich in quercetin and can help relieve symptoms of nasal allergies if consumed.
5. Foods Rich In Vitamin C
Vitamin C is wonderful for allergy relief because it inhibits inflammatory cells from releasing histamine. High levels of the vitamin help to break down histamine faster and therefore provide relief from nasal symptoms. It also does this in another way by actually reducing the inflammation and counteracting the inflammatory effects of free radicals.
A lot of vitamin C is found in fresh fruits such as watermelon, oranges, apples, and strawberries, as well as vegetables like broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, and red pepper.
6. Foods Rich In Vitamin E
The gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E has been found to reduce symptoms of allergies — especially when it comes to the nasal passages. This sort of vitamin E is found in soyabean oil and, while high doses were used in studies, replacing your usual oil with this vitamin E-rich version will no doubt aid in relieving annoying symptoms.
Isn’t Wasabi Good For Nasal Congestion?
Actually, this is a myth. Wasabi has been long thought of as a good way to clear out congestion and relieve nasal allergy symptoms, but in fact it does the opposite.
While the peppery substance can seem like it’s shifting all sorts with watery eyes, runny noses, and sneezing after consumption, it doesn’t actually help in reducing nasal problems such as sinus congestion. Studies show that eating wasabi and other spicy foods actually increases mucus production in the nasal pathways.