Supernutrients That Fight Seasonal Allergies

Allergies

With 50 million Americans suffering from allergies, it is no wonder so much money is spent on OTC antihistamines during allergy season.[1]  A nationwide survey found that 54.6 percent of all US citizens test positive for one or more allergens.[2]  Unfortunately, over-the-counter medications often lead to undesirable side-effects.

When allergies hit, your eyes get itchy and watery, you may sneeze uncontrollably, your nose becomes congested and it starts running.  In the worst of cases, spring allergies will lead to a sinus infection.  However, nature has provided us with Supernutrients that can help you combat the underlying cause of allergies – overstimulated mast cells and excessive histamine secretion.

If you are a parent, you will find this natural approach most desirable for your children.  Imagine this – instead of taking your antihistamine, EAT YOUR ANTIHISTAMINES.  Nature’s allergy-reducing nutrients are found in foods rich in vitamin C, quercetin, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

3 Supernutrients That Reduce Allergy Symptoms:

1. Vitamin C.  Not only is vitamin C a great natural antihistamine, it is a powerful antioxidant and immune booster.  Foods high in this supernutrient include: broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bell peppers, mango, strawberries, oranges, clementines, kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapples, guava and peaches.

2.  Quercetin.  A powerful antihistamine and anti-inflammatory, quercetin, a plant flavonoid, is also responsible for the colors of many fruits and vegetables.  It puts a stop on our allergy superstars – the mast cell.  Mast cells release histamine, which is the major cause of the allergy symptoms.  The best sources of quercetin are apples, citrus fruits, onions, garlic, parsley, tomatoes, legumes, dark berries, green tea, black tea and red wine.

As an aside, one of my favorite natural allergy remedies, Natural D-Hist, very effectively combines vitamin C and quercetin with stinging nettle leaf extract (antihistamine), bromelain (pineapple enzyme), and N-acetyl cysteine (mucous thinner) to dry out a runny allergy-suffering nose and reduce sneezing attacks.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  Omega-3’s are the anti-inflammatory powerhouses of the nutrient world.  They are found in almonds, walnuts, avocado, ground flax and chia seeds, flax seed oil, and grapeseed oil, to name a few.  By promoting a low inflammation environment in our bodies they help reduce allergy symptoms, and are an essential component of any food-based allergy treatment.

If any of these remedies are to be effective, they cannot be treated as medicines you take to overcome the indiscretions in your diet.  In other words, they are part of an overall healthy eating plan.  If you tend to be an allergic individual, eating foods rich in these nutrients year-round will help preempt allergy symptoms.  Make sure to also avoid eating dairy products during the peak of allergy season, since they increase mucous secretion and may lead to a sinus infection.


[1] American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). The Allergy Report: Science Based Findings on the Diagnosis & Treatment of Allergic Disorders, 1996-2001.

[2] Arbes SJ et al. “Prevalences of positive skin test responses to 10 common allergens in the US population: Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 116:377-383. 2005

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