Seasonal sniffles, sneezes, and itches got you down? There are things you can eat that may ease your allergy symptoms.
No food is a proven cure. But fruits and vegetables are good for your whole body. They’re full of nutrients that can keep you healthy. They may also protect you from seasonal allergies.
Try these items:
1. Onions, peppers, berries, and parsley all have quercetin. Elson Haas, MD, who practices integrative medicine, says quercetin is a natural plant chemical. According to Haas, this chemical may reduce “histamine reactions.” Histamines are part of the allergic response.
2. Kiwi is a fuzzy fruit rich in vitamin C. It can also cut down on histamines. You can get Vitamin C from lots of foods, including oranges and other citrus fruit.
3. Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain. According to Lawrence Rosen, MD, bromelain can reduce irritation in allergic diseases such as asthma.
4. Tuna, salmon, and mackerel have Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 can help reduce inflammation. Go for two servings of fish every week. A study from Japan found that women who ate more fish had lower levels of hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis.
5. Kefir is a yogurtdrink that contains probiotics. These are good-for-you bacteria that live in your gut. Rosen says they may help prevent and even treat seasonal allergies. You can get probiotics in fermented foods. Look for yogurts that say “live active cultures” on the label. Sauerkraut and kimchi are also good sources.
6. Local Honey. The research is mixed on whether local honey helps you head off allergies. “If you take small doses of the honey early in the season,” Rosen says, “you may develop a tolerance toward pollen in your area.” One study found that people who ate birch pollen honey had fewer symptoms of birch pollen allergy than those who ate regular honey. It’s not a sure thing, but see if it works for you.
- 30 Foods to Eat to Get Rid of Allergies—For Good
- 1 Strawberries
- 2 Walnuts
- 3 Shiitake Mushrooms
- 4 Broccoli
- 5 Apples
- 6 Cocoa
- 7 Sweet Potato
- 8 Turmeric
- 9 Chia Seeds
- 10 Kale
- 11 Spinach
- 12 Honey
- 13 Blueberries
- 14 Collard Greens
- 15 Pineapple
- 16 Garlic
- 17 Tempeh
- 18 Avocado
- 19 Brussels Sprouts
- 20 Kiwi
- 21 Red Grapes
- 22 Watermelon
- 23 Mango
- 24 Kombucha
- 25 Papaya
- 26 Cauliflower
- 27 Sauerkraut
- 28 Black Plums
- 29 Flaxseeds
- 30 Tomatoes
- The best (and worst) foods to help fight your allergies
- The Best Anti-Allergy Foods – Become Allergy-Free With These Superfoods
- #1: Apples
- #2: Sweet Potatoes
- #3: Buckwheat
- #4: Rosehips
- #5: Flaxseed
- #6: Green Tea
- #7: Garlic
- #8: Rosemary
30 Foods to Eat to Get Rid of Allergies—For Good
If you spend more of your time hitting up your allergist and popping meds to control your itchy eyes, sneezing, and congestion more than you’d like to admit, it might be time to look to another method to help you (finally) get rid of your allergies. And get excited: it involves eating.
Sure, medicine does a great job at keeping your symptoms at bay, but a variety of different foods—from apples and tomatoes to sauerkraut—can help, too. Here are some items to always have stocked in your fridge to help you beat your allergies for good. And for more ways to avoid allergies this season, steer clear of the 20 Worst U.S. Cities for Spring Allergies.
One simple way to fight off allergies? Stock up on all things vitamin C, says the Mayo Clinic. Strawberries — which contain about 85 mg per cup — won’t just give you a healthy boost of antioxidants, but they’ll also help reduce your symptoms in the process. Bonus: Strawberries are also one of the 50 Foods That Make You Look Younger.
You might want to make walnuts your snack of choice — at least when it comes to ridding yourself of allergies. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the high amount of omega-3s it contains can help reduce the symptoms. And for more amazing foods we recommend, check out the 30 Best Foods for Maximizing Your Energy Levels.
3 Shiitake Mushrooms
Mushrooms are always a healthy choice, and when it comes to relieving allergy woes, make sure you have shiitake on hand. They’re not only flavorful, but they’re also packed with vitamin D which, according to the Mayo Clinic, can help with symptoms. To reap the most benefits, go for the dried version which contain much more vitamin D than fresh. Bonus: ‘shrooms are also one of the 20 Best Ways to Have a Healthier Thyroid!
Broccoli is one of the healthiest veggies around, and according to a study published in the journal Food and Function, the green machine could also protect your body against pollutants that cause allergies. So stock up: Sneaking it into your meals could make a big difference when it comes to your symptoms. And for more ways to look and feel your very best, see these 50 Genius Weight-Loss Motivation Tricks.
An apple a day keeps your allergies away? Well, at least according to a 2016 study published in the journal Molecules, that is true. Quercetin — the plant polyphenol the fruit contains — has been found to help reduce the inflammation that often comes hand-in-hand with allergies, preventing it from affecting you. And for more reasons to eat apples, know that a perfect apple is one of the 40 Simple Pleasures Only People Over 40 Understand.
Listen up, chocolate lovers: eating cocoa on the reg actually has some anti-allergy benefits, says a study published in the journal Pharmacological Research. Add some into your morning smoothie to feel like you’re eating breakfast for dessert, or sip it in your warm and cozy beverages.
7 Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes aren’t just a ridiculously healthy starch — they can also help ward off your allergies thanks to their high content of beta-carotene, says the Mayo Clinic. Make some healthified fries in your air fryer, spotlight them in your weekly potato bar, or top them with some cinnamon for a nutritious dessert to reap the benefits. Bonus: Sweet potatoes are also one of the 20 Best Foods for Your Libido.
Turmeric deserves a prime spot on your spice rack — especially if you have allergies. According one study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, sprinkling it on your food is an easy way to get some control over your symptoms, once and for all. And for more great advice for living smarter, know the 30 Ways You’re Making Your Life Way Harder Than It Needs to Be.
9 Chia Seeds
There are plenty of healthy reasons to toss some chia seeds into your meals, and according to one 2017 study, one of them is because of their super-powerful, allergy-combating omega-3 content. Add some into your smoothies, use them to make a creamy pudding, or throw some onto your salad.
Kale salad, anyone? Aside from being a low-calorie, high-fiber superfood that belongs in every diet, one cup of chopped kale also contains 80 mg of allergy-fighting vitamin C. Yeah, it’s a keeper.
You can’t have kale on a list without also including spinach, right? While kale is the winner when it comes to allergy-fighting vitamin C, spinach reigns supreme with vitamin E which can also help reduce symptoms, says the Mayo Clinic.
Want to sweeten things up? Grab some honey. One 2013 study found adding it into your diet can help counteract your allergy symptoms — and even prevent them from affecting you in the future.
As if you needed a reason to load up on blueberries, here you go: One study found they’re packed with the polyphenol quercetin that saves you from getting all itchy-eyed and stuffy-nosed come allergy season.
14 Collard Greens
Collard greens aren’t just tasty — they’re also rich in catotenoids, which a 2010 study found could not only help prevent the development of food allergies, but also help combat seasonal allergy symptoms. Score.
If you’ve noticed pineapple tends to help fend off your allergies, there’s a reason for that: the 79 mg of vitamin C it contains per cup can help you control your symptoms and leave the sniffles behind.
Not a fan of turmeric? Try garlic instead. A 2015 review found it doesn’t just help decrease allergic reactions; it also helps prevent allergies in the first place. Plus, the best part: It tastes good on everything.
Tempeh — a hearty plant-based protein source made from soybeans — is full of probiotics, and that’s great news for your allergies. A 2013 study found that good gut bacteria can fight off your seasonal allergy symptoms.
Welp, here’s your excuse to eat guac and avocado toast like it’s your job: They’re rich in both vitamin C and E, which gives you a double-whammy in getting rid of your allergy symptoms. Yep, it’s pretty much a sneeze-free dream come true.
19 Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are certainly an acquired taste, but once you figure out how to make them to your liking, you can say goodbye to your allergy symptoms. A 2017 study found the veggie’s omega-3 content might be just the fix you’ve been looking for.
If you’re not already a fan of kiwi, your allergies will thank you for adding it into your daily diet. By cutting some up and eating it as a snack, you’ll reap some allergy-fighting benefits thanks to its high vitamin C content of 64 mg per fruit.
21 Red Grapes
Red grapes are easy to love: they’re delicious, make for a quick portable snack, and always hit the spot. One thing you probably didn’t know they’re good for, though? Fighting off allergies. One study found their polyphenols help prevent you from coming down with any symptoms.
If you haven’t heard of lycopene, it’s about to become your new best friend. Foods with high levels of the chemical compound — which gives red foods its bright hue — has been found to help get rid of allergies and their symptoms.
If downing pineapple already didn’t give you enough feel-good tropical vibes, reach for some mango, too: Also high in vitamin C at 60 mg per cup, it’ll help you boot your allergies to the side so you’ll be feeling like yourself again in no time.
Tempeh isn’t the only probiotic-packed food you should have on your grocery list. Kombucha is also a great way to fight off seasonal allergy symptoms — and have better gut health in the process. Just be sure to grab a high-quality product that isn’t more of a sugary treat than a health drink.
After trying papaya, you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. The fruit definitely has a unique taste, and it also has a noteworthy benefit: with 140 mg of vitamin C per cup, it can help you get rid of some of the annoyances of allergies, like itchy eyes and congestion.
There’s so much you can do with cauliflower. You can make a low-carb rice out of it, mash it, or even turn it into crispy buffalo wings. And the more you use it, the more its anti-allergic quercetin will help ensure your symptoms won’t take over this spring.
Sure, people toss some sauerkraut onto their hot dogs — but there are plenty of other (healthier!) ways you can use the fermented food in your diet. And, because of its gut-boosting probiotics, one study says it can rid allergies from your life for good in the process.
28 Black Plums
Just like apples and red grapes, one study found black plums are also a great source of the anti-allergy plant polyphenol quercetin. Stock up the next time you’re at the grocery store and eat them often.
Flaxseeds have been around forever — around 6,000 years, FYI! — and adding the superfood into your diet could be a smart anti-allergy solution. Whether you eat them in cracker-, oatmeal-, or even waffle-form, one study found the high omega-3 content can help combat your symptoms.
Like watermelon, tomatoes are also a prime allergy-fighting source of lycopene. Load up on the fruit — whether that’s in sauce-form or topped on your salads — to make sure you stay healthy and free of symptoms this year.
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The best (and worst) foods to help fight your allergies
With pollen counts pumping up sooner than expected this year, many allergy sufferers will reach for eye drops, allergy shots and other medications for relief. But what about a plate of poached salmon, a kale salad or a crisp red pepper?
Allergy-fighting antihistamines come in pill and liquid forms, but they appear naturally vitamin C-packed vegetables. Those, as well as fish rich in Omega-3s, make up an anti-inflammatory diet that can help beat back allergy symptoms, said Emily Telfair, a naturopathic doctor in Baltimore.
Think of antihistamine medications “like the bandaid,” she said, necessary for many just to get through the day. A few simple changes, though, may prevent your body from needing them in the first place.
“And food’s a good way to start,” she said.
Here are food choices that can help alleviate allergies, and some you might want to avoid.
Onions, cabbage and apples
These all contain quercetin, a compound that gives some fruits and vegetables a reddish hue. Quercetin also stabilizes mast cells, Telfair said, those cells that pump out histamines as your body reacts to an allergen. Consuming it regularly, in food or supplement form, lends the body inflammation-calming nutrients. And don’t get too hung up on the color, she said, as these foods need not be red to contain quercetin.
(Red wine contains quercetin too, but Telfair doesn’t recommend it. More on that below.)
Bell peppers, Brussels sprouts and broccoli
Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine, making these vegetables your friend. And all three contain more vitamin C than oranges. That’s good news, Telfair said, as citrus fruits can upset histamine pathways. Other good options include cauliflower, cabbage and kale. And don’t double up on orange juice, she said; it just makes your mucus worse.
Salmon, sardines and mackerel
These fatty fish can beat back allergen-induced inflammation through omega-3 fatty acids. The fats incorporate into cell membranes in the body’s tissues, stabilizing them, Telfair said. When an allergen arises, those cells are then more likely to help reduce inflammation, she explained.
Nettles, another natural antihistamine, grow like weeds in the springtime, Telfair said, just as allergies return. The prickly plants can go into soups, pesto, and pasta dishes and also stabilize mast cells. Many health food stores carry them, said Telfair, who favors a nice cup of nettles tea: “It tastes like dirt, but it’s very effective.”
Avoid: Dairy, bread and booze
All of these increase inflammation, Telfair said, not helping allergies a bit. Limit yourself to whole grains and avoid dairy, which triggers mucus already rampant with allergies. And quercetin be damned, cut back on that wine red wine, Telair said, which can aggravate histamine pathways. Alcohol in general can add undue stress to your body if it’s already dealing with allergens floating in the air.
“You can’t control that, but you can control how many beers you drink.”
Follow Josh Hafner on Twitter: @joshhafner
► Related: Early spring warmth wreaks havoc on plants, allergies, bugs
The Best Anti-Allergy Foods – Become Allergy-Free With These Superfoods
Guide to Combatting Allergies ( Home | Diet | Foods | Recipes )
Looking for information about foods that can help heal allergies? This section of our Guide to Preventing Allergies presents 14 hypoallergenic and allergy fighting superfoods that are considered safe — or even beneficial — for people who are prone to allergies. For general information about eating right for allergies, visit this Guide’s diet page. For healthy recipes that feature some of the best anti-allergy foods, visit this Guide’s recipe page.
Apples are loaded with the anti-allergy flavonoid quercetin.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know that this superfood can also keep allergic reactions at bay? Apples are one of the best dietary sources of quercetin — a flavonoid that has been shown to effectively protect against allergic reactions. Quercetin works its protective magic by stabilizing the cell membranes of mast cells and basophils, thereby preventing them from releasing a load of histamine. Enjoy apples plain as a simple snack, slice into oatmeal, or toss in a fruit salad!
#2: Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes, one of the oldest vegetables known to man, are highly nutritious. Sweet potatoes may also be one of the best additions to your diet if you suffer from allergies as they are one of the foods that are least likely to cause allergic reactions (that is also why they are often recommended as a safe first food for babies). Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin C as well as some unique root proteins which, according to preliminary studies, have significant antioxidant properties.
Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat. Actually, this ancient “grain” is not even a grain; it is a seed of a fruit that is a distant relative of rhubarb. It is very uncommon to develop a sensitivity or intolerance to buckwheat which makes it an excellent alternative to wheat and other grains that commonly cause allergic reactions. Buckwheat groats can be used to make delicious hot breakfast porridge and buckwheat flour (also known as beechwheat, kasha, and saracen corn) can be used to make baked goods. Buckwheat groats contain only 92 calories per 100 grams and are loaded with protein, which makes them an excellent food also for those who are watching their waistline.
Rosehips, the fruit of the rose plant, are loaded with healing anti-allergy nutrients. Rosehips are one of the best natural sources of proanthocyanidins, phytochemicals that inhibit enzymes that produce histamine and can thus help ease symptoms in some allergy sufferers. In addition to that, rosehips are packed with vitamin C. They are also a relatively good source of vitamin E. Rosehips have a tangy taste similar to cranberries and can be eaten fresh or used in jams, pies, soups, and stews. Before consuming rosehips, remove the outer fleshy part of each orb to eliminate the fine hairs they contain.
Flaxseeds can add selenium and omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.
Provided that you’re not allergic to the Linaceae or Linum plant families, flaxseeds can offer you great health benefits. Linum usitatissimum, which means ‘most useful’, is the botanical name for flaxseeds and an apt description of the power of these little nutrient powerhouses. Flaxseeds have been used to treat and prevent many common ailments and diseases, including cancer, constipation, heart disease, and joint pain. They may also help prevent and alleviate allergic reactions. They are a very good source of selenium, with one cup of flaxseeds providing more than 60% of the recommended daily intake for this important anti-allergy mineral. Furthermore, ground flaxseeds, as well as flaxseed oil, are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. A high intake of omega-3s has been associated with a decreased risk of allergies.
#6: Green Tea
Green tea is commonly used as a weight loss aid, but the health benefits of green tea are not limited to weight loss benefits. Scientific evidence suggests that green tea may also be helpful for treating allergies. Catechins, the same compounds that are responsible for green tea’s weight loss promoting properties, have been shown to inhibit the enzyme that converts histidine to histamine. To maximize the release of catechins, use loose tea leaves instead of tea bags and let the tea stand for five minutes. Furthermore, research suggests that complementing green tea with a substance high in vitamin C (e.g. fruit juice naturally rich in vitamin C) can make the catechins more available to the body.
Since ancient times garlic has been considered a healing superfood and has been used as a remedy for a wide range of ailments. Research has shown it to be effective at promoting heart health, preventing and treating cancer, and reducing high blood pressure. But eating garlic on a daily basis may also help prevent allergic reactions. The beneficial effects of garlic on allergies are partially due to garlic’s ability to inhibit the activity of certain enzymes which generate inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes. Additionally, garlic — especially fresh garlic — contains a fair amount of vitamin C. It is also a good source of selenium, with one cup of raw garlic providing almost 30% of the recommended daily intake for an average adult.
Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, a plant polyphenol that has been shown to suppress allergic reactions. It appears to work by suppressing allergic immunoglobulin responses and inflammation caused by leukocytes. Rosemary can be used to flavor fish, roast meats, and tomato sauces, but also fruits, especially oranges.
Continue (Foods 9-14)