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Allergy relief foods
Allergy season is starting earlier, lasting longer and affecting more people. We have global warming to thank for this, according to experts, who say the increased amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes plants to grow faster, longer and produce more pollen.
The growing season has increased by 10-14 days over the past 20 years. The result is approximately 46 percent of the U.S. population is affected by seasonal allergies.
Not everyone with allergies needs to see the doctor or take medications. Some can get relief by eating anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich and probiotic-packed whole foods. Here are some of the best foods to try.
Gobble up some yogurt or probiotics
Allergy sufferers who consumed good bacteria, called Lactobacillus casei, reacted less to pollen and other allergens, according to a study reported in the journal of “Clinical and Experimental Allergy.” Get your daily dose of L. casei by eating probiotic yogurt or downing some probiotic supplements. Or try kefir or fermented veggies such as sauerkraut.
Apples and other quercetin-rich foods
Apples are rich in quercetin, a bioflavenoid also found in onions, garlic, cabbage, berries and cauliflower. These types of foods keep your body from releasing histamine which lessens your allergy symptoms.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is touted as a remedy for all kinds of ailments but some have found it effective for allergies. The best kind to use is organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
Recommended amounts range from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water. Drink the mixture one to three times a day but you should see improvement after 2-3 days. If not, the remedy doesn’t work for you.
Make the mixture more palatable by adding 1 tsp. honey or mixing the vinegar in tea or apple juice. Add ¼ tsp. baking soda if the vinegar upsets your stomach.
Citrus fruits, strawberries filled with Vitamin C
Stock up on citrus fruits, especially lemon and lime, and start eating them in abundance. Lime is your best bet as it contains more natural antihistamines that can help relieve symptoms than any other citrus fruit. Try sucking on a wedge of lime and your allergies may clear up, according to some individuals.
Lemons will work almost as well and can be used to make a lemonade drink to gulp down first thing in the morning. Mix lemon juice, water and honey.
Strawberries also are filled with Vitamin C which has been found in studies to decrease histamine levels by 38 percent. If citrus fruit and strawberries are not your thing, try Vitamin C supplements. Some experts recommend a maintenance dose of 2,000 mg. daily.
The Indian spice, turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties and curcumin in turmeric can block the release of histamines to lessen allergy symptoms. Turmeric can be added to soups, eggs and stir fries.
Pumpkin seeds are filled with magnesium, a mineral that relaxes muscles and helps open up airways for easier breathing. About ¼ cup provides half the daily requirement of magnesium. A deficiency in magnesium can increase histamine in the body. Other powerful sources of magnesium include almonds, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, broccoli, leafy greens and dark chocolate.
Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by eating wild salmon which can help keep inflammation under control. A higher level of omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells has been associated with reduced hay fever.
More whole foods, less processed foods
Stock up on whole foods and ban the processed foods, which are associated with higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids. This type of fatty acids is pro-inflammatory and linked to allergies.
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