Allergies, which include hay fever, eczema, and asthma, are all caused by inflammation, the body's way of responding to injury. A recent study in Clinical & Experimental Allergy Reviews suggests that the development of allergies over the past few decades may be because of significant changes in diet.
The Stress Connection
Stress, worry, fatigue, and gastrointestinal upset are believed to trigger or exacerbate allergies by increasing the body's susceptibility to them. If your allergies seem to worsen when you're upset or tired, try getting more rest and eat foods that are known to help alleviate inflammation and fight free radicals, including the following fruits and vegetables:
Apples. High in vitamins A, C, and B, which help cleanse the system and aid digestion.
Blueberries. A good source of tannins that kill bacteria and viruses, and help with digestion. Blueberries are also potent antioxidants that are packed with vitamin C and potassium.
Grapes. A good source of antioxidants, anti-viral properties that can help fight infection, and flavonoids, which help protect the heart.
Mangos. High in vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, niacin, fiber, and potassium to help fight infection and toxins.
Oranges. A good source of vitamin C and choline, which helps promote mental functioning.
Raspberries. A good source of niacin, potassium, and vitamin C, which boost the immune system.
Strawberries. High in vitamin C, antioxidants, and anti-viral properties that help ease allergies and infections.
Asparagus. One of just four veggies high in vitamin E. Also a good source of vitamins C and A, potassium, niacin, iron, and antioxidants.
Beet tops. High in vitamin A, antioxidants, and betaine, an enzyme that strengthens the liver and gall bladder.
Onions. Loaded with antioxidants that help prevent inflammatory responses. Also a rich source of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant.
Bell peppers. High in vitamins C and A and antioxidants that fight infection and inflammation.
Spinach. High in vitamins E, C, and A; lutein; chlorophyll; calcium; iron; protein; and potassium.
Watercress. High in antioxidants and vitamins C and A.
One in three children suffers from allergies today, and that number is expected to narrow to one in two by 2015. Genetics influence whether a person will develop allergies or asthma, but the drastically increased incidence of these conditions almost certainly has environmental factors.