Over half of Americans have allergies. The most common symptom is rhinitis, which includes nasal itching, congestion, runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes. Generally, common allergens, the substances you react to, can include grasses, mold, dust dander and tree pollens. For instance in the Southwest, the biggest allergen is Cedar pollen, especially in Texas.
Inflammation and the release of histamine by the body accounts for the uncomfortable symptoms associated with allergies. If you have allergies you are three times more likely to develop asthma!
Forty years ago, allergies and asthma were relatively rare conditions. So why has their prevalence skyrocketed in the past several generations? The leading theory is over sanitized environments and overuse of antibiotics. Therefore, our immune systems are not working properly become confused and react to both friends and foes of the body.
One answer could be the foods we eat. Many foods we eat can cause inflammation and we do not eat enough anti-inflammatory foods to halt it. Todays processed, prepackaged and fast foods with higher trans- fats and Omega-6 fats causes more free radicals and other inflammation promoting substances. The good dietary fats, like Omega’3 fats and more vegetables and fruits, are great firefighters, in putting out or decreasing inflammation.
Foods to reduce allergy symptoms and give your body the anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants it needs include:
Fish-cold water fish, like Salmon once or twice a week. Salmon is high in Omega 3 especially if it is wild caught versus farm raised.
Vegetables- Eat plenty of high fiber greens like spinach, collards, kale and Swiss chard. Other high fiber veggies are broccoli, cauliflower, onions and garlic.
Fruits- fruit high in fiber are all berries; strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes and even kiwi!
Supplements that can help for allergies are Quercetin; a high antioxidant found in apples and onions which reduce s inflammation and stabilize mast cells, cells that increase with allergic reactions.
Magnesium is essential for muscle relaxation and can reduce severity of asthmatic type reactions.
Of course, Vitamin C helps reduce release of antihistamines and eases inflammation. Zinc and Vitamin E can help reduce development of allergies and asthma starting with the newborn to adults.
Vegetarian Life Magazine