Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wellness Topic: Food effects on Seasonal Allergies

This is prime season for allergies. Having recently come into my discovery of how bad allergies can be, I’m very aware of them this year. I have an allergy to mold and mildew which has been compounded by my environment (my job). In this economy, I have to learn to work around my allergy since I can’t leave my job. Jobs are too hard to come by. Some interesting information that came from an NC County Wellness Newsletter is definitely worthy of passing on.

Studies show that a healthy diet rich in certain foods will help keep your respiratory system strong, boost your immunity to allergies and help fight infections. The article quotes an article written in Thorax, a health journal that noted islanders who ate Mediterranean foods had fewer allergies. The foods in this type of diet that aid in protecting against allergies are: nuts, grapes, oranges, apples and fresh tomatoes. These foods have natural anti-inflammatory and are loaded with Vitamins, antioxidants and good fats.

The full list of foods:
Nuts: magnesium (increase lung function) and vitamin E (immune booster).

Apples, oranges and tomatoes: anditoxidants, vitamin C.

Grapes: the skins especially have antioxidants and resveratrol (reduces inflammation and offers protection)

Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and offer protection

Green, white and black teas: reduce inflammation, boost immunity by increasing proteins. Hot tea with lemon in the morning activates the movement of nasal cilia which helps prevent sneezing with allergies.

Zinc: found in oysters, lean beef, shrimp, crab, legumes, whole grains and tofu. Has antibacterial and antiviral effects and assists with immunity.

Me personally, I eat a LOT of tomatoes in the summer. I always feel better in the summer? Coincidence? I think not. My own tips to add to this, take vitamins. I’ve learned a lot by trying to eat locally and in season. Right now I’m eating a lot of spinach, peas, strawberries, and asparagus. That is what is in season right now and I can get it fresh. These are loaded with good vitamins and iron. In the summer, it is easier to eat fruits and veggies because it’s the season for them (here in the south). I can also not stress enough my new love for Green Tea.

I started taking Green Tea as it is suggested it can aid in fertility but no matter that it is an excellent source of antioxidants. In the few weeks I’ve been on it, my allergic reactions are almost undetectable and I now go DAYS without reactions at all OFF of my medicine! How fabulous is that?

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