Seasonal allergies cause inflammation in the lining of the nose and throat, and foods that fight this process can provide some relief. Studies have shown that eating a diet high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, for example, can ease seasonal allergy symptoms. A 2007 study showed that children from the Greek island of Crete who ate a Mediterranean diet full of fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, and nuts, which are rich sources of these nutrients, were less likely to develop allergy and asthma symptoms than those whose diet contained fewer of these foods.
Other foods that are high in antioxidants and natural antihistamines like quercetin include green tea and red foods like apples, red onions, grapes and raspberries. And chia seeds and fish such as salmon and tuna contain healthy doses of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. A 2007 study of pregnant women found that kids whose moms ate the most apples during pregnancy were less likely to report wheezing or to have doctor-confirmed asthma at age 5, compared to kids whose mothers ate fewer apples.
Torkos also recommends yogurt, since it contains probiotics, or healthy bacteria that can also help the immune system to respond more appropriately to allergens like pollen. “Probiotics help balance the beneficial bacteria in your gut that support your immune system and help reduce the allergic reaction cascade that occurs from seasonal allergies,” she says.