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Allergy diet

You’ve probably heard the expression “you are what you eat,” which means you will be overweight or unhealthy if you eat a poor diet. But have you heard “your allergies are what you eat?” Research supports the idea that changing your diet to include certain foods and exclude others may help your allergies.

What if adding a cup of green tea a day or avoiding spicy foods could lessen your seasonal allergy symptoms? Here are some foods that may help and some to avoid.

Mediterranean diet

A diet rich in the foods of the Mediterranean diet can boost your immunity and protect you from allergies. That’s why Crete islanders who eat fresh fruit/vegetables, fish, olive oil and nuts/seeds have fewer nasal allergies, according to researchers.

Eat more yogurt and probiotics

Sixty percent or more of your immune system is in your gut. Beneficial bacteria helps keep your immune system strong and may help lessen allergy symptoms.

Simple changes to try

•Avoid spicy foods when pollen is high and allergy symptoms are in full bloom. Spicy foods may cause an outpouring of histamine.

•Eat cooked foods and avoid raw during the peak of pollen season. Pesticides on fresh fruits and veggies may contribute to allergies.

•Skip fast food, and sugary or salty foods. In studies, people who passed on these foods had fewer symptoms because they impair the immune system. Individuals who lost weight also reported improvement.

Foods that are natural antihistamines

•Tea, especially green tea, contains natural antihistamines. Drink it first thing in the morning to prevent morning sneezing attacks.

•Fruits and vegetables (especially dark, leafy ones) are rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, which support the body’s ability to resist and heal from infection.

•Fish, nuts and seeds provide valuable nutrients, including zinc, which play an important role in the immune system. They also are good sources of essential fatty acids which may reduce inflammation and production of phlegm.

•Whole grains provide more vitamins, minerals, nutrients, fiber and antioxidants than refined grains. Individuals who ate more whole grains and passed on processed and fatty foods produced less phlegm, according to studies.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Sheree Welshimer. All rights reserved.
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