For some, the dawning of the autumn season brings forth images of falling leaves and pumpkin patches, harvest festivals and early sunsets. But for you and the 10-30 percent of other Americans who suffer from hay fever, the fall season is synonymous with one thing only: allergies. Fortunately, allergy relief may be available without having to take a single pill, wear an allergy mask, or shut yourself inside all season in fear of the mighty ragweed. In fact, the secret to a sniffle-free autumn may be right in front of you, on the plate you're eating from. To minimize your annual hay fever hardships, try adding these 3 allergy obliterators into your daily diet:
Broccoli sprouts. Not only is broccoli packed with Vitamin C, a natural allergy deterrent, but research has showed that broccoli sprouts increase the production of beneficial enzymes that lessen inflammation in your upper airways. What does this mean for you, the allergy sufferer? It means you may be able to say goodbye to that short-of-breath, tight-chested feeling you've been experiencing every time you step outside in the fall.
But be sure to spring for sprouts, which contain 20-50 times more concentration of "sulforaphane," a beneficial chemical compound, than mature broccoli. Mix the sprouts up in a salad, steam them, eat them raw, or add them to a pasta – get them into you however you prefer, and you may finally get that troublesome phlegm and mucus out of you.
For an even more powerful allergy combatant, add some onions and kale, both of which contain plant pigments (quercetin and carotenoid, respectively) that boast antihistamine-like effects.
They are already everywhere you look in October and November, so why not add them to your dinner plate as well? Pumpkins, too, are rich in carotenoid and loaded with vitamin C and zinc, both of which naturally strengthen the weakened immune system that allowed your allergies to thrive in the first place.
And yes, there is a wide world of pumpkin dishes beyond pies and breads. From stews and pastas to breakfast bars and ravioli, the mighty pumpkin can be the cornerstone of many a healthy, allergy-annihilating dish.
The Mediterranean Diet Staples.
Several food items on the increasingly popular Mediterranean Diet have been proven to help fight allergies. Perhaps the two most powerful allergy combatants on this diet are:
- Red Grapes. The skin of a red grape is packed with a natural inflammation reducer called "resveratrol," which alleviates nasal allergy symptoms including wheezing and excessive sniffling. The autumn season is a good time for allergy sufferers to introduce grapes into their diet and say goodbye to bananas and several other fruits, which can actually make your ragweed allergy worsen.
- Nuts. In addition to being a good source of the immune booster Vitamin E, nuts protect your body from the "free radicals" that damage your oxidative tissues and allow your allergies to linger. Simply chew on a handful of peanuts, almonds, or walnuts multiple times throughout the day, and your hay fever foibles may soon fade away.
A total of 17 species of ragweed sprout up all over the country in the fall season, making much of August through October (or longer) a sneezing, sniffling, itching, nasal-congesting nightmare for many. But it doesn't have to be. By eating the right foods during the fall season, you may finally put an end to your allergies. Of course, you should also schedule an appointment with an experienced and knowledgeable allergist who can determine the cause of your allergies and start you on the best course of treatment.