For some, the first indication of autumn is the Labor Day weekend, which among other things signifies the unofficial end of another care free summer and the beginning of a new school year. For others, however, the first hint that fall is just around the corner includes itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing – all symptoms of the dreaded ragweed, the notorious allergen of the new season.
Experts say that an unusually wet spring is the reason for the most severe ragweed season in recent memory.
Whatever the reason for it, ragweed season is now in full force throughout most of the US. It hits its victims hard and doesn’t pull any punches until the first full frost strikes. For many allergy suffers, that means up to two months of discomfort with side effects that may include sick days from school and work, and an inability to enjoy life to the fullest.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Beyond taking OTC and prescription allergy medications, many of which have their own unpleasant side effects (like severe drowsiness), changing one’s clothing and taking a shower after an extended period outdoors and keeping the house and work place clean and free of dust, there are a number of natural ways of boosting your immune system that may help minimize the impact of fall allergies.
And there’s more good news: our suggestions all taste delicious.
By simply adding these five superfoods to your diet – foods rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants and folic acid – the inflammation associated with fall allergies may be reduced.
- Cruciferous vegetables– research from the University Of California School Of Medicine found that cruciferous vegetables may play a key role in preventing allergy symptoms and asthma. Researchers found, Sulforaphane — a chemical in broccoli — triggers an increase of antioxidant enzymes in the human airway that offers protection against the numerous free radicals that we inhale every day. Foods like broccoli and kale are also high in Vitamin C, a natural antihistamine.
- Apples– in addition to Vitamin C, apples also contain high amounts of quercetin — one of the most important alternative remedies when it comes to allergies because of its ability to stabilize mast cells, which release histamine.
- Onions and garlic —like apples, onions and garlic are full of quercetin, which works similar to many of the prescription drugs on the market today by acting like an anti-histamine. Onions contain roughly 100 milligrams of quercetin per 3-1/2 ounces. Onions and garlic also help to regulate and boost our immune system, which helps to fight off allergies.
- Citrus fruits – oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes contain large doses of Vitamin C. One large orange contains roughly 100mg of Vitamin C. On top of being packed with Vitamin C, lemons and other citrus fruits also contain high levels of antioxidants.
- Fresh fish – salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies and sardines are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, which help combat the inflammation associated with seasonal allergies. A German study that was published in the journal of Allergy, found that peoples whose diets were rich in omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to suffer allergy symptoms.
A final suggestion: if you suffer from ragweed allergies, check your local allergy forecast before venturing outside each day. When the allergy count is unusually high, opt to stay in-doors as much as possible with the air conditioner turned on.