Living with allergies is like walking in a field full of landmines. While some triggers are obvious, you never are too sure what may trigger the symptoms. While medication and nasal sprays help deal with sudden allergic attacks, you must look deeper into the real cause of these allergies. But adding the right foods to your diet, you can strengthen your immune system over time so that your body can fight off the allergens. Here’s a list of remedies that could work.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple Cider Vinegar has been used as a remedy for hundreds of years because of its many useful properties. ACV helps heal your gut which is important because 80% of your immune system is actually located in your gut. Having ACV regularly promotes the growth of “friendly” bacteria in the gut. It also helps to soothe the lungs and bronchial walls and break down phlegm.
As mentioned before, the secret behind a strong immune system is a healthy gut. When you don’t have enough beneficial bacteria growing and thriving in the digestive system, harmful bacteria take over and intoxicate your body.
A 2008 study found participants who took probiotics during allergy season had lower levels of a specific antibody thought to trigger allergy symptoms, and at the same time, they had higher levels of an antibody researchers believe may help protect against allergic reactions. So make sure to include foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and tempeh into your diet.
3. Omega-3 And Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids
According to a German study published in the journal Allergy, patients who regularly consumed omega-3 rich foods were far less likely to suffer allergies and the accompanying symptoms compared to people who rarely ate these foods. Omega-6 essential fatty acids help the body produce potent chemicals known as prostaglandins. These hormone-like substances block the body’s production of the chemical histamine, which is the primary cause of allergy symptoms. Sources include oily fish (sardines, mackerel, tuna), flax seeds, walnuts, and dark leafy vegetables, like kale and spinach.
4. Hot Peppers
If you like spicy food, you’ll surely love this remedy. Hot chili peppers (especially cayenne pepper), hot mustard and horseradish are all excellent natural decongestants and sinus clearers. They also boost the immune system and are extremely good for your heart. However, if you’re not used to eating peppers, start off with very small quantities. If the peppers are too strong for your palate, you can have them in the form of powders or capsules.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil does wonders for your gut health. It improves digestion by soothing the lining of the gut and promoting the growth of good bacteria. It also helps friendly gut bacteria to grow which automatically reduces harmful microbes from increasing in numbers. Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid. When lauric acid is digested, it forms a substance called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
6. Vitamin D
According to a study published in November in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, approximately 10 percent of U.S. adults are vitamin D deficient. It’s been found that children with low serum vitamin D levels are more likely to be hospitalized for asthma-related problems than kids with normal levels. Studies have also shown that low vitamin D levels in children are closely linked to the actual severity of asthma and allergy symptoms. So make sure you get some sun whenever you can and take your vitamin D supplements. Natural foods with vitamin D include beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, oily fish, and dairy products like yogurt.
The above remedies are meant to reduce the effects of allergens but are not a substitute for medication. Please do not stop medications without consulting your doctor.