This article was first published in the Tacoma Food Coop Newsletter for March 2015.
Normally, we look to pharmaceutical and herbal medicine to treat seasonal allergies, but there is a lot you can do with your nutrition to lessen allergy symptoms and even lessen the allergies themselves.
Since you are eating anyway, why not decrease your allergies and their symptoms at the same time? Here are some suggestions:
- Increase your Omega 3 intake: wild caught fish, with lots of omega 3 fatty acids, help decrease inflammation, which can exacerbate symptoms like asthma.
- Increase your probiotics: healthy gut flora aids the immune system. Eat foods like yoghurt and kefir.
- Go organic: pesticides found in conventional fruits and vegetables add extra toxins to an already overloaded system.
- Drink green tea: green tea has natural antihistamines that can reduce allergy symptoms.
- Increase quercetin-rich foods: foods like capers, onions, tomatoes and dark berries that contain quercetin are thought to have anti-histamine properties.
- Increase vitamin C-rich foods: vitamin C has powerful antihistamines. Increase your intake with foods like mangoes, oranges, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers.
For some people, decreasing spicy foods, which can cause a histamine reaction, can also be helpful. Other foods to avoid are histamine-producing foods such as alcohol and fermented foods. For more information on histamine-producing foods, check out this article.
Stephanie Gianarelli, LAc, practices at Acupuncture Northwest & Associates in downtown Tacoma and downtown Seattle. She has been practicing for over 13 years and occasionally gives talks around the Puget Sound on a variety of Chinese medicine topics. For more information, visit her website: www.acupuncturenw.com