Fight allergies to foods, pets like dogs and cats, and dust mites with yogurt for immune system response to allergens, apples, green or black tea, vitamin E, omega 3 from fish oil to fight inflammation, probiotic supplement for beneficial bacteria, fruits and vegetables like oranges, grapes, tomatoes, eggplants and almonds; or follow a Mediterranean diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish.
Allergies are very annoying. Foods like apples, oranges, grapes, almonds, wheat germ and fatty fish pack nutrients like quercetin, vitamins E and C, and omega 3, which are helpful in fighting allergies.
Allergies result in many forms – hay fever, skin allergies like eczema, asthma and sinusitis. Allergens may come from dust, our furry pets like dogs and cats, or the food we eat like peanuts or peanut butter, which causes anaphylactic shock to individuals allergic to it. Allergies are largely inflammatory reactions, thus foods and nutrients that reduce inflammation can be helpful.
Children and Allergies, and Preventive Measures
Children are more susceptible to allergies. During pregnancy, a mother is wise to:
• Follow a Mediterranean diet – rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and fish. Olive oil is usually used for cooking. A study shows that mothers following the Mediterranean diet gave birth to children 82 percent less likely to have wheezing and 45 percent less likely to have skin rashes during childhood.
• Take 1000 mg of fish oil a day – fish oil, rich in Omega 3, is an anti-inflammatory fat, reducing the risk of allergies in children. Consult a doctor before embarking on this type of supplementation.
• Take a Probiotic Supplement – Mothers who take supplements of these beneficial bacteria during pregnancy are less likely to deal with eczema, which is an itchy skin condition that leads to allergies in children.
During childhood, it is wise to keep children:
• Well-fed with Foods like fruits, vegetables and fish – A Greek study of 500 children found that diets rich in these foods, followed from pregnancy till the children turned six, yielded significant reductions of allergic risks and asthma. Children who ate fruits and vegetables at least twice a day were 74 percent were less likely to develop allergic rhinitis. Fruits and vegetables that fight allergies include grapes, oranges, apples, tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, green beans and zucchini.
• Breastfed for four to six months – breastfeeding provides immune system support because a mother’s milk is rich in vitamin D and calcium.
Foods that Fight Allergies for Adults
For the general population of adults, fighting allergies means:
• Consuming Yogurt Daily – Researchers at the University of California found that individuals consuming 250 g of yogurt with live, active cultures daily had half as many days with allergic symptoms during the hay fever season. Yogurt perhaps affects immune system response to allergens. More studies are needed.
• Eating Apples and Drinking Green or Black Tea – Apple skin and Green and Black tea are excellent sources of quercetin, an anti-oxidant that counters inflammation. Other sources of quercetin are onions and red grapes.
• Consuming foods rich in Vitamin E – like spinach, wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds and kumara (orange sweet potatoes). A German study found that individuals consuming foods rich in vitamin E had a lower risk for hay fever.
The best course to a better health often entails a healthy diet with foods rich in disease-fighting nutrients. If allergies are a major health hazard, mother nature has provided us with foods, especially fruits and vegetables, and fatty fish, to fight off the allergens.
Disease Free: Proven Ways to HELP PREVENT more than 75 Common Health Problems. The Reader’s Digest. Australia. 2010. 400 pages. Hardbound.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.