It's such a beautiful time of year and the air has a subtle sweet smell but with that comes pollen and allergies. Did you know that 58 million americans suffer from allergies in the U.S each year? There's a variety of symptoms that come with allergies including a runny nose, watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing.
So how do we embrace this gorgeous time of year without suffering? Nature's Antihistamines
Vitamin C reduces histamine levels and is found in fruits and veggies like oranges, peppers, kale, papaya, and even brussels sprouts. Isn't it perfect that right about the time seasonal allergies increase the foods that fight them are also in season.
Bee pollen is actually a food and does a great job at reducing histamine levels. Add it to your morning smoothie or breakfast. Don't worry, no bees are harmed when collecting the pollen from the hives.
Researchers believe that nettle's ability to reduce sneezing and itching is through reducing the amount of histamine the body produces in response to the allergen. This doesn't mean you should go into the forest, pick all the nettles you can see and then eat them! When harvesting nettles be sure to use gloves and scissors. Lay them out to dry because the stinging ability is lost once dry. Nettle is also super nutritious and loaded with calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene, vitamins A,C,D, and B complex.
Quercetin is able to "calm" immune cells which has been shown to reduce or even prevent the release of histamines. A Japanese study of 20 people with pollen allergies found that quercetin supplements reduced eye irritation and itching. So what is it? Quercetin is an antioxidant (flavonoid) which can be found in elderberries, onions, capers, cranberries, blueberries, grapes, and green tea.
Bromelian is an enzyme found in pineapples which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Quercetin and Bromelian together have been used in studies which proved to have a synergistic effect to reduce the symptoms of allergies. The perfect excuse to eat more pineapple!