Do you find yourself sneezing, coughing or waking up with watery eyes every time the weather starts to warm up?
Spring allergies are typically caused by pollen released by trees, grasses, and weeds. If you’re one of the “lucky” people sensitive to this pollen, your body will start to release antibodies to combat what it views as invading germs. Those antibodies cause chemicals called histamines to be released into your blood, which causes all of those annoying allergy symptoms like runny noses, itchy eyes, and sneezing.
While there are lots of over-the-counter ways to treat spring allergies, there are also natural ways to fend them off — or at the very least, ease the symptoms. Here are 10 foods that have been shown to help combat even the toughest of allergy symptoms.
A cruciferous vegetable that’s high in vitamin C, broccoli packs two allergy-fighting punches. Plant members of the cruciferous family have been shown to clear sinuses, and vitamin C has been shown to ease allergy symptoms. In fact, scientific studies have found that 500 milligrams of vitamin C per day aids in easing allergies.
Try the Green Monster Smoothie to get a dose of broccoli.
Citrus fruits are another great source of vitamin C. With a large orange containing nearly 100 mg of C, and half of a large grapefruit containing about 60 mg, you can get your 500 milligram dosage of this natural antihistamine in no time!
For all your vitamin C needs, try our Orange Kiwi Cream smoothie.
Like broccoli, kale is a member of the cruciferous family, and it’s also rich in cartenoids, which have been known to help defend your body against allergens. In addition to being rich in vitamin C, kale packs a punch of Omega-3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation and have been shown to reduce allergy symptoms.
Looking for some some kale smoothie inspiration? Try our Superfood Kale Oatmeal smoothie.
This herb is packed with nutrients and has been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms. It contains biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation including Chlorophy and vitamins A and C.
Red grapes have loads of antioxidants, including resveratrol, an anti-inflammatory compound. Eating foods high in antioxidants can reduce inflammation in your entire body, which reduces the symptoms of allergies.
Try this grape-filled Spring Awake smoothie. So good!
Tomatoes aren’t just high in immune-boosting and natural antihistamine vitamin C, studies have also shown that eating them can help build your tolerance against asthma and respiratory issues, making them the perfect thing to eat during allergy season.
Try the Raspberry Basil Smoothie.
Apples are one of the best dietary sources of quercetin, a flavonoid that has been shown to effectively protect against allergic reactions. Quercetin is effective because it stabilizes the cell membranes of mast cells and basophils, and in doing so, prevents them from releasing a load of inflammation-causing histamine.
Give that oven a break and make this Apple Pie Smoothie instead.
Not only are flaxseeds an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with decreased risk of allergies, they are also high in selenium. Selenium protects cell membranes and stimulates immune function, increases B-cell antibody response, and even enhances the functions of vitamin C. With flaxseeds providing more than 60 percent of the recommended daily intake for this anti-allergy mineral, it’s an excellent addition to your anti-allergy diet!
A tablespoon of flaxseed can go in almost any smoothie. Try making the Kumquat Cantaloupe smoothie.
Although we don’t recommend adding garlic to smoothies, this herb has proven to be a highly effective immune booster and allergy fighter. Garlic has the ability to inhibit the activity of certain enzymes that generate inflammatory responses in the body. Garlic also contains an abundance of vitamin C and selenium.
Green tea is not only soothing and comforting during allergy season, but it also contains catechins. These compounds are responsible for green tea’s weight loss promoting properties, and have also been shown to inhibit the enzyme that converts histidine to histamine.
Blend up a cup of our Kiwi Matcha Tea smoothie.
Raw, Local Honey
While there are differing opinions about how much local honey can help with allergies, the reasoning behind it is simple: Local honey is made from local flora, and by exposing yourself to pollen from local plants, you’ll be less likely to have intense allergic reactions to them. For optimal results, it’s important to buy raw honey (extra sugars or chemicals will render the health benefits useless) made in your area, and to make a habit of eating it often.