Before there were modern drugs which could help to battle allergies, people turned to Mother Nature's medicine cabinet. The benefit of using food as medicine is that you get a whole host of other good things along with the specific action you are looking for. By taking in these active compounds in their natural form, important "accessory compounds" (molecules which help the body to absorb them or which are beneficial to their action) are also taken in.
Here are a few foods to add to your arsenal this allergy season.
Onions & garlic: Not only are these foods great for fighting vampires, they are full of all sorts of good things. In traditional chinese medicine, members of the allium family help to "release the exterior." In plain English, that means they help to open the door so your body can kick out unwelcome guests like allergies or colds. From a biochemical perspective, they contain Quercetin, which has been shown to prevent the release of histamines which are a primary culprit in spring allergies.
Kale, broccoli and collard greens: All of these foods are members of the crucifer family and are superfoods which have all kinds of benefits. Rich in carotenoids and Vitamin C they really pack a one two punch.
Citrus fruits: A good source of Vitamin C, citrus fruits from grapefruit to lemons, limes and oranges help the body maintain a healthy immune system. Now who said a marguerita couldn't be good for you?
Echinacea Angustifolia: Echinacea is an herb family which many have probably heard about. There is quite a bit of confusion regarding the efficacy of echinacea. Echinacea Angustifolia is an herb which has long been documented to be used medicinally by Native American tribes to help boost the immune system as well as for its many other healing properties. The entire family of this herb fell somewhat into disrepute when some scientific studies examining it found marginal effects. However, all species are not created equal. These studies were performed with Echinacea purpurea, a different species than that used traditionally by Native Americans. Therefore the results of those studies are only relevant to the use of E. Purpurea, for which there is much less historical documentation of medicinal use.