May 11th, 2016

Eat To Beat: Spring Allergies

Spring allergy salvation, alas! 

Portrait of sick sneezing woman at spring outdoors blossoms background.

When it comes to keeping allergies at bay, one of the first lines of defense is a healthy diet. So head to the grocery store this weekend and make sure your fridge is stocked with these allergy-fighting ingredients. They may just stave off those seasonal sniffles and sneezes.

Fatty Fish  EPA and DHA, two important omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, play many different roles in the body, including helping to ease allergy symptoms. Fatty fish may have anti-inflammatory properties, and they’re also high in vitamin E. However, make sure to choose wild fish vs farmed to avoid antibiotics, and food-borne illness. Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, bluefish, and herring are all great sources of omega-3s. Salmon sashimi over here, please! 

Garlic  According to a recent study, garlic can help decrease allergic reactions by hindering the production of histamine. Garlic has a host of other benefits as well. Studies have shown that high concentrations of garlic extract have been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and an overall boost to the immune system. Eating raw garlic may not sound like the most enticing meal, but don’t worry! There are ways to love garlic without losing friends.  Add a bit of minced garlic to your classic pesto recipe or toss fresh garlic into your soup after it’s done simmering on the stove.

Turmeric  Turmeric, the bright yellow native Indian spice that is found in curry and other dishes, is known for having a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Add a pinch or two to your morning smoothie, toss it with your seasonal roasted veggies, or sip on turmeric tea before bed. Just bring 1 cup of water to boil and then stir in ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric powder or freshly grated turmeric. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes and strain before drinking. You can stir in stevia, fresh lemon juice, or cinnamon for a little added-flavor.

Apples  The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may be right. Apples, especially their peels, are rich in quercetin, a flavonoid that may have natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effect. It could help prevent immune cells from releasing histamines, which cause an allergic response, typically triggered by pollen and other allergens. Simply core and slice your favorite apple with the skin on, and enjoy with a bit of almond butter for a healthy snack option.

Nuts  Itchy red eyes and a runny nose will drive anyone nuts, up your defenses by eating nuts. Certain tree nuts, such as walnuts and flaxseeds, are also chock full of omega 3-s. Moreover, they contain magnesium, which may help relieve constricted airways and vitamin E, which protects the body from free radicals that cause tissue damage and inflammation. Just a handful of walnuts could be equal to about 3 to 3.5 ounces of salmon.