Looking for an all-natural way to curb your allergy symptoms? Try the Mediterranean diet. It works for the Crete islanders in Greece where nasal allergies are almost non-existent.
Certain foods increase inflammation and make allergies worse but a diet rich in the foods of the Mediterranean diet can boost your immunity and protect you from allergies. Thatís why Crete islanders who eat fresh fruit/vegetables, fish, olive oil and nuts/seeds have fewer nasal allergies, according to researchers.
The foods of the Mediterranean diet are protective from allergies because they are high in antioxidants which improve immunity and protect cells from damage. In contrast, the mainstay foods of the typical American diet are high in unhealthy fats, sugar and refined grains that increase inflammation.
How Mediterranean is your diet? Assess your diet by giving yourself a point for each of the following that your diet includes. Scores 7-9 indicate a high adherence to the diet.
oVegetables (other than potatoes), 4 or more servings per day.
oFruits, 4 or more servings per day.
oWhole grains, 2 or more servings per day.
oBeans (legumes), 2 or more servings per week.
oNuts, 2 or more servings per week.
oFish, 2 or more servings per week.
oRed and processed meat, 1 or fewer servings per day.
oDairy foods, 1 or fewer servings per day.
oAlcohol, Ĺ to 1 drink per day for women, 1-2 for men.
What makes the foods of the Mediterranean diet special? Here are some examples.
Salmon, trout, tuna and other oily fish are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which have been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties. Foods that reduce inflammation boost your immunity and lower your allergic response. Other foods high in Omega 3ís are nuts and seeds, and flaxseed oil.
Nuts and seeds also are excellent sources of magnesium and Vitamin E. Magnesium improves lung function while Vitamin E boosts immunity.
Fruit such as tomatoes and citrus
Fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, another antioxidant. In the Crete diet study, foods high in Vitamin C provided protection against allergies.