Up until a few days ago I had no idea that winter allergies even existed! The last couple of years I have been struggling with stuffy nose from October through April and I always thought I had caught a cold that didn’t want to leave! I was so puzzled by it, taking vitamins, trying to consume the ‘right food’ to boost my immune system!
And then, a friend shed some light: Maggie, she said, you are probably suffering from winter allergies… There is no such thing as a cold that starts in October and goes in April!
So, as one does, I started my research. It turns out that although, in this part of the world, pollen which is the culprit for most respiratory allergies, is absent during winter, other allergens can cause issues. Most common allergies can be due to indoor things, such a dust and animals!
Besides keeping a clean house, paying attention to your diet can also help you lessen the impact of allergens. Of course, if you’re dealing with a serious case of allergies, consulting your doctor and managing your situation with medication is the way to go, but for milder cases, the food we eat can overall make us feel better.
For me, it was a combination of meds and a bigger consumption of the below foods that finally did it!
- Red Bell Peppers
Full of vitamin C red bell peppers not only contribute to strengthening our immune system but they actually also help lower histamine (major contributor in allergic reactions) levels in our bodies.
- Brussels Sprouts
They are full of phytosterols which, in the case of preventing allergies, is a great thing! These naturally occurring substances in plant cell walls play an important role in dampening the effect of cytokines (ie overactive antibodies responsible for allergic reactions).
Contain antioxidants called quercetin that inhibit the release of histamine and also decrease the pro-inflammatory effect of cytokines antibodies.
- Sea Vegetables
Studies show that food containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) may play a role in reducing inflammation related to asthma and allergic diseases. That’s because omega-3s fatty acids help in the production of three mediators of inflammation in our airway, namely protectins, resolvins, and maresins.
Capers contain a high amount of quercetin.
Walnuts are a good source of omega-3s fatty acids.
So, if you are struggling with winter allergies, go ahead and boost your diet with the above and let’s see if my research was good! Good luck and stay healthy and allergy free!