The Mediterranean Diet and Allergies

Springtime often leaves many people sniffling and sneezing, and while antihistamine pills are effective, it can leave you feeling exhausted and foggy. While the use of medication works well, it should never be solely relied upon. Sometimes there are other solutions to try first before you head to the medicine cabinet. You ever hear the term “you are what you eat”? Well, that statement couldn’t be truer – what you put into your body will affect your performance and how you feel. Think of your body as a high-performance sports vehicle; you wouldn’t put low-grade fuel or oil into your car. If you did, it wouldn’t run very well and that will lead to expensive repairs later on down the road. Where is the logic in this? The same idea applies to your body, so start treating yourself like a high-performance vehicle.

Mediterranean Diet and Allergies

May is National Mediterranean Diet Month, so use this time to incorporate this ancient way of eating into your daily diet. The Mediterranean diet is not a new fad, it has quite a bit of history behind it, and the best part is it’s not an overly restrictive, “fad” diet. In fact, many people find this diet to be easy to follow and incorporate. One of the greatest aspects of this way of eating is that following the Mediterranean diet may help or eliminate your need for antihistamine medication due to the compounds that are found naturally in the food that makes up this diet.

This includes:

• Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
• Fish
• Nuts and Seeds
• Lean Meats
• Whole Grains
• Beans
• Olive Oil

Want to learn more about the link between the Mediterranean diet and allergies? Read on to learn how Mediterranean foods may help ease your allergies and offer some relief.

Vitamin C

Studies have shown that ingesting high amounts of vitamin C can help reduce inflammation, which is key when you are trying to defeat allergies. This antioxidant can help reduce histamine and breaks it down faster, so if you want to help counteract the inflammatory allergic response, eat foods that are high in vitamin C, such as peppers, watermelon, broccoli, oranges, watermelon, apples, and strawberries.

Resveratrol and Quercetin

Studies have shown that resveratrol and quercetin can help reduce inflammation and for its natural antihistamine properties. In fact, there are allergy medications out there that incorporate quercetin and resveratrol, so why get it from a pill? If you are interested in taking resveratrol naturally, be sure to ingest red grapes, grape juice, peanuts, and mulberries. As for the quercetin, make sure you load up on black tea, onions, broccoli, and apples.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

It has been discovered that omega-3s can play a role in reducing allergies as it has anti-inflammatory effects, so you want to ensure you are putting these polyunsaturated fatty acids into your body if you want to protect yourself from allergic reactions. You can incorporate omega-3 fatty acids naturally by ingesting walnuts, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, winter squash, beans, spirulina, wakame, sardines, cod, mackerel, herring, menhaden, and salmon.

Folate

Beans and lentils are a big part of the Mediterranean diet, they are one of the staples, but they are also high in vitamin B9. B9 is also known as folate or folic acid, and this amazing nutrient has been shown to suppress and reduce the severity of allergy symptoms by degrading histamine levels. If you want some assistance in reducing your allergy symptoms, be sure to include spinach, okra, orange juice, chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, chicken and turkey into your daily diet.

Carotenoids

With the Mediterranean diet, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is key. You want to make sure that you eat a variety of colors daily in order to take advantage of their anti-allergy qualities. Pay special attention to the orange, yellow and red varieties as they are higher in carotenoids. It’s the carotenoids that offer a variety of protective health benefits, including easing allergy issues. Make sure you add some oranges, beets, peppers, dark leafy greens, squash, tomatoes, cantaloupe, as well as other colored fruits and vegetables into your diet.

It is important to remember that this does not replace the need for medication or for doctors. It may reduce your symptoms and reduce your need for medication or for doctor visits, but it will never replace your need for a professional. If your allergy symptoms are severe or have been getting worse, make an appointment with your doctor.

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