Foods That Make Your Allergies Worse

by Garreth Myers


An allergy, in normal circumstances, is caused by allergens, that is, something that the body considers foreign. An allergic reaction is a form of hypersensitivity and can range from food allergies, skin rashes, respiratory disorders, and inflammations to hay fever. Fortunately, allergic reactions subside relatively quickly with the appropriate treatment. However it is important to prevent future allergic reactions since they can be extremely painful and uncomfortable and therefore it is essential to be aware of the foods that make your allergies worse.

Seasonal allergies are very common especially during autumn and spring. For example, pollen from plants, flowers, trees can cause allergies during spring. Individuals who are very sensitive often avoid going out as much as possible during the allergy season. At the same time what can be is done is to totally do away with certain foods or at least minimize their consumption till the allergy season goes away or if you are suffering from the allergy, till the symptoms reduce. Tomatoes, spinach, celery, avocado and eggplant are some of the few vegetables that have histamines. Therefore, they should be avoided when suffering from a pollen allergy. Pollen from the alder tree can make allergies worse if the allergic individual has peaches, cherries, apples, celery and almonds. As for people allergic to weed and grass pollen, a big no-no to watermelon, bananas, melons, zucchini and cucumbers is a must. Similarly they must also avoid chamomile tea and oranges. For those who suffer from hay fever, the pollen from the birch can also cause allergic reactions. These individuals must also avoid oranges, plums, apples, peaches, nectarines, peppers, prunes, soya, kiwis and hazelnuts and these fruits can increase hay-fever symptoms.

Although slightly different from a seasonal allergy, it is important to make note of the Oral Allergy Syndrome or a Food-Pollen Allergy Syndrome. People suffering from this syndrome have allergic reactions when their immune system mistaken substances in some vegetables and fruits for pollen. This is called cross reaction. It is important to note that allergic reactions may increase if certain allergy causing foods are consumed in their raw state. If they are cooked or canned, their allergy-causing protein is killed and these foods can then be consumed, but it is important to discuss this with your doctor as this may not hold true for all people with allergies. Sometimes peeling the "guilty" fruit or vegetable may also cut down food-pollen allergy reactions. Handpicked fruit and vegetables do lesser harm than foods stored for long periods.

It is important to go easy on milk and milk products such as yogurt, curd and cheese as these have mucus-thickening properties. Clear mucus is essential to get rid of allergens because when it is thick, the allergens stay trapped in the body itself. One may have noticed that often anti-histamines are prescribed to fight an allergy. Therefore, it is but natural that you keep away from histamine foods. Doing away with these foods at least till the allergic symptoms subside is crucial. These foods only add to the amount of histamine already being produced by the body. Therefore their intake should be kept to a strict minimum or stopped completely depending on the severity of the allergic reaction. Apart from tomatoes, avocadoes, celery and eggplant, one must also avoid dried fruits, mushrooms, processed foods, fermented foods. Alcohol beverages such as beer and wine also increase histamine levels.

Food allergies or alimentary allergies are also quite common. In cases where children suffer from food allergies, the allergic reactions usually disappear with time or are cyclic in nature. In adults however, the food allergy is more often than not a permanent problem. The most common alimentary allergies in kids are nut allergies especially peanuts, cow milk allergy, egg allergy, soya allergy and wheat allergy. Adult allergies are nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, mollusks, crustacean and dairy-product related. Often the allergic reaction as soon as the allergy-causing food is ingested. In the case of food allergy, the answer is simple – Avoid the allergy-causing food itself. However, it is important to diagnose the allergy, determine what food is causing the allergic reaction and come up with a diet plan that excludes that particular food, but replaces it with another food having similar nutritional value. Sometimes, over time individuals develop a certain kind of "tolerance" to these foods, that is, they are less allergic to them or have milder reactions.

As for the foods that actually help keep allergies at bay, they are those that increase the efficiency of the immune system. These foods are rich in Beta-carotene, magnesium, vitamin C and quercetin. Beta-carotene when transformed into Vitamin A is a great antioxidant. It helps in the proper functioning of the respiratory system. Magnesium-rich foods help curbing the effects of histamines and help regulate the respiratory system. Vitamin C lowers histamine levels and therefore prevents allergic reactions. Quercetin also reduces the histamine effect to a large extent. Vitamin C and quercetin also have anti-inflammatory properties.


Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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