So the weather is starting to get nice out along with things we have all been waiting for. Getting to play outside, swimming and sunbathing, not having to wear layers upon layers of clothes. These are all reasons to why I have been counting down the days to summer. But along with all these great parts of the warmer weather, there are some nasty things that try to sneak their way into our lives. What are these nasty spoilers of the warm weather? Allergies.
As I was looking through the list of the top prescription in the US, I noticed that there were a lot of allergy medications near the top of the list. WebMD statistics show that 1 in every 5 people in the US have allergy or asthma symptoms. With this many people having symptoms, the health care system has an annual allergies related cost of $7.9 billion! That’s a lot of money that we can help relieve. So how to help reduce these allergies with food? One of the well known strategies is lots of vitamin C.
Citrus Fruits (such as oranges, tangerines, grapefruits) are a great source of vitamin C and really easy to eat throughout the day. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant that fights the histamine in your body. Your body releases histamine that contribute to sneezing, itching, runny noses, and hives during allergy season. Other foods that are high in vitamin C are green leafy vegetables, peppers, and guavas.
I’m sure we have all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well apparently this goes the same for allergies. Studies have shown that those who incorporate apples into their regular diet will have a greater protection against allergies and asthma. Apples are a great source of quercetin which is a natural anti-inflammatory. This helps reduce the swelling in your throat and sinuses when your allergies act up. Most of the benefits from apples comes from the antioxidants in the peel. These antioxidants are polyphenols and are important in that they prevent cellular damage. Another interesting fact came from a 2007 study about pregnancy and apples. This study found that kids are less likely to have asthma and allergies when their mothers eat apples during pregnancy.
Eating a spoonful of honey leading up to allergy season can help fight allergies once the weather warms up. Honey can attribute to your allergy defense due to the source of the honey. The bees collect pollen from allergy-inducing trees. Slowly allowing your body to become accustom to the pollen will help you build up a tolerance for when pollen begins to fill the air. Honey may seem a little difficult to incorporate into your diet, but it is a great addition to some food you may already be eating. You can add honey to plain yogurt to have a healthy way of sweetening the yogurt. Honey also goes great in tea or add it to whole-grain cereal in the mornings.
This is a great time to start getting prepared for allergy season. For those luck people without allergies, enjoy the warm weather and you can always incorporate these foods to help boost your immune system to fight off everything else. And for those with allergies, I wish you the best of luck. Try to incorporate these type of foods into your diet and maybe you can avoid end up like this…