I was visiting Florida recently and was taken aback by how many people were blowing their nose and it was due to allergies. So many people in all states suffer with allergies year round, but it may be especially harder in hot, humid conditions were mold spores, weeds, flowers and grasses are abundant!
It’s good to know ways to help your body produce its own antihistamine and how to mitigate all the sneezing, itching and runny nose problems. When histamine and other cytokines get out of control, you can experience anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening reaction. Histamine is an ‘exciting’ chemical, it excites and wakes up the brain. This is why antihistamines often cause sedation.
Managing allergies can be a struggle sometimes, especially when the symptoms cannot be controlled rapidly. This may occur due to allergens in one’s home. Floridians all have air conditioning units, and the filters need to be changed frequently. Also, mattresses and bedding may become humid and moldy over time, which can also trigger a full body reaction that goes on for years. Update your bedding as needed.
Your immune system must be in tip-top shape in order for you to beat this, and your immune function relies on proper rest, food, water and vitamins, not to mention probiotics. This is why antihistamines don’t cure a person completely sometimes and the allergies become intermittent throughout one’s life. About 50 million Americans are affected by allergic rhinitis.
People who suffer from allergies are often told to avoid triggers, but that is nearly impossible sometimes and I understand that. How about eating your way to better health? Here are some good ideas to help you improve your diet so it includes more antihistaminic foods.
5 Antihistaminic Foods to Eat
These delicious treats are something I like to put on top of a bagel with some Puck® and nova, as well as everything seasoning spice. The capers are rich in quercetin. Quercetin and its cousin compound called DHQ (dihydroquercetin) are one of the strongest natural antihistamines known to man. Quercetin-rich fruits like apples and most vegetables will help attenuate allergic reactivity in almost everyone! Supplements are available too, if the capers aren’t enough!
Bromelain is the enzyme that fresh pineapple confers and it’s a strong anti-inflammatory enzyme. It can help with a runny nose and itchy, swollen eyes. It will help with mucus production and allergies by blocking chemicals that cause misery. Bromelain is a popular natural post-surgical supplement because it speeds healing of tissue. But mostly, it helps with airway problems in people with allergies and asthma. Eat pineapple if you can! Just a note of caution because some people are actually allergic to pineapple. If you are one of those people, then you may also have a cross reactivity to bananas so be careful.
I like those Ginger Chews® and also crystallized ginger, as well as the type in sushi cuisine. My favorite form of ginger is ginger tea which is easy to make. Ginger is a natural antihistamine and it’s strong. It helps immediately with a scratchy, raw throat which may occur if you have a lot of phlegm dripping down. Ginger is also thought to help with DNA damage, that’s why some oncologists recommend it. Again, this is a very strong herbal remedy when it comes to controlling cytokines of all sorts, including histamine. The documented effect comes from valuable ingredients shogaol, gingerols, and paradols. Here’s a recipe to make a Peach Ginger Smoothie.
Vitamin C is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant with many well-documented antihistamine effects. It helps prevent your body from making so much histamine while improving collagen production and immune function. Eating a grapefruit, or orange each day could provide enough C for a mild allergy. Navel oranges are higher in C than blood oranges, generally speaking. If you need supplementation, those are widely available at health food stores. Natural sources are gentle on the stomach.
This is a vegetable found in the produce department and it’s one of my favorites! It is an outstanding natural antihistamine and you just cut it up and put it into your salad, here’s my RECIPE for Watercress Hearts of Palm Salad.
Watercress is useful because it will support your body’s detoxification via the tremendous amount of chlorophyll present in the leaves. It’s a lot of bang for the buck because you’re getting quercetin in it, lots of B vitamins, chlorophyll, fiber and other antihistaminic compounds. Here’s another ARTICLE I wrote about watercress’s health benefits.
Just a quick hack for your red, itchy eyes. Buy a saline water eye kit at the pharmacy or online. Keep it in the house in case something like a household detergent or cleanser accidentally spritzes you in the face and you want to rinse your eyes. If your eyes are irritated and itchy, you can rinse some and soothe them within seconds. These help with red, puffy, itchy eyes that are swollen. You just lean over the sink, and tilt your head back with the eye cup and saline rinse. Don’t add anything to the saline water, use the solution that comes with your eye cup.
Before closing I want to point you to one of my articles on itching and eczema where I mention mast cell activation syndrome or MCAS. The difficulty for some is that histamine is hard to test for directly, so a proper diagnosis evades you. CLICK HERE to read it.
For more information about allergies you can read these articles: