Three Natural Antihistamines to Fight Allergies
Most allergy sufferers dread the late summer months. This heralds ragweed season, which wreaks havoc upon the 36 million Americans who suffer from hay fever. They join the many other allergy sufferers who react to mold, pollen, dust mites and other allergens with sneezes, itchy eyes, runny noses and other unpleasant symptoms.
Most allergy sufferers head for the drug store or doctor's office to stock up on Claritin, Benadryl, Alavert, eye drops, inhalers and other medications to help them live with their unfortunate allergy. However, many of these medications cause serious side effects ranging from a dry mouth and confused thinking to drowsiness, which restricts driving, and the use of machinery. Some sufferers even experience an accelerated heart rate from taking these antihistamine drugs.
Perhaps it's time to see what nature has to offer in terms of natural antihistamines delivered through a natural healthy diet. Edible antihistamines can be found in many common foods that contain vitamin C, quercetin or omega-3 fatty acids. Here's what allergy sufferers should be putting in their shopping basket to help counter their reaction to pollen, dust, mold and other allergens.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that packs a powerful dose of antihistamine. It is commonly found in fruit and vegetables such as citrus fruits, guavas, blackcurrants, mangoes, strawberries, tomatoes, papayas, elderberries, cantaloupe and honeydew melon, raspberries, bananas, kiwi, pineapple, cranberry juice and peaches.
Other tasty sources of vitamin C include vegetables such as peppers, kale, parsley, broccoli, brussels sprouts, mustard greens, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage (all types), spinach, turnips, asparagus, green onions, lima beans, black-eyed peas, green peas, radishes, yellow summer squash, sweet potatoes, new potatoes, lettuce, vegetable juice, tomato juice, rutabaga and kohlrabi.
There's something in that list for everyone to enjoy at least once a day! These fruits and vegetables should be eaten as fresh as possible as they lose their potency if boiled or stored for long periods. Try making a fruit smoothie, blending the ingredients with natural yoghurt, ice and sweetener to taste.
The flavonoid quercetin is the ingredient responsible for adding color to fruit and vegetables. It is easy to pick out fruit and vegetables high in quercetin such as berries, citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, grapes and even red wine.
Quercetin is one of nature's antihistamines that work by stabilizing the mast cells that normally react to allergens. Quercetin can help prevent the body from manufacturing and releasing histamine in response to pollen or other irritants. Enjoying a daily dose of quercetin in your diet helps build up a natural resistance to annoying allergens.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids crop up time and again in health articles as they have many beneficial properties. Found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, or as a daily fish oil supplement of fish oil, they help reduce allergic reactions thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. Additional sources of omega-3 include walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds and canola oil which can all be combined in a healthily dressed salad for lunch.
These natural antihistamines will not bring instant relief for allergies, so start building up your immunity about six weeks before the start of the August ragweed season. Then keep up the good work by enjoying these healthy foods all year round!
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