6 Plant-Based Ways to Fight Allergies
Spring is in the air…. and so is dust, pollen, and all those things that make allergy and asthma sufferers long for winter! But don’t distress. There are things you can do to lessen, or even eliminate your allergy symptoms that don’t involve trips to the pharmacy or loading up on all those meds that leave you with annoying side effects.
It is important to remember that the symptoms of seasonal allergies are due to INFLAMMATION. The stuffy nose, the sneezing, watery eyes, itchy skin, cough and congestion, and even wheezing are all a result of the inflammatory process that is triggered by things in the environment. Of course, step one is to limit your exposure to allergens. Step two is to limit (or eliminate) those foods that promote inflammation, like meat, processed sugar and white flour, and especially DAIRY. (In fact, the number one piece of advice to patients suffering from allergies or asthma, is to ditch the dairy!). And step three is to consume plants that contain phytonutrients that have been shown to relieve the allergic inflammatory response in your airways.
Here are FoodTherapyMD’s TOP 6 foods for surviving allergies:
Pineapple has always been known for its anti-inflammatory properties, but a special enzyme in pineapple called bromelain specifically reduces inflammation in the airways and sinuses.
RADISH + LEAVES
Radish is one of my go-to foods for upper respiratory congestion and allergies. Radish has high concentrations of quercetin, which is a phytonutrient known for its antioxidant and histamine-blocking properties. They also loosen phlegm and clear mucus from the sinuses and lungs. The best way to get the maximum benefit and concentrations is to add them to your cold-pressed juice, and be sure to throw in the leaves as well.
Garlic is not only a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system, it is also full of histamine blockers like quercetin.
Veggies like broccoli and kale are members of the cruciferous group. And in addition to being the most nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory foods on the planet, they are also great for allergy symptom relief and immune function.
Parsley is a natural histamine blocker (just like your claritin or zyrtec!). But it is also full of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients like favonoids and lycopene, which protect and boost the immune system and decrease inflammation in the airways.
Red and purple grapes (as well as blueberries and other purple fruits) have a polyphenolic compound in their skin called resveratrol. Resveratrol is more widely known for its effects on the heart, but it also blocks allergic inflammatory responses in the skin and respiratory system.
Incorporating all the above foods into your diet is an amazing way to beat back allergies without relying on pharmaceuticals. And a quick and easy way to get high concentrations of these phytonutrients is to incorporate them into your daily juice! Here is a quick recipe that can be used any time of the year, to keep allergy symptoms at bay:
2 cups fresh pineapple
6 radish with leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 handful purple grapes
1/2 inch ginger root
1 long leaf of parsley
Throw into your cold press juicer and drink up!
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