Though a proper diet won't completely stave off symptoms of allergies, "every little bit helps," says Molly Kimball, a dietitian with Ochsner Health System. "When you look at symptoms of allergies, one of the biggest things is inflammation," she says. "So (nutritional approaches) to minimizing the inflammation are going to be key." Here, she shares supplements and dietary habits that may help soothe a sneeze-y, stuffy head. Be sure to consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking new supplements or herbs.
— Missy Wilkinson
1. Pycnogenol is an extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree that has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. Take 50 milligrams twice daily to decrease nasal symptoms associated with allergies.
2. Preliminary research shows that astragalus, a Chinese herb, can improve sneezing and itching. Take the supplement twice daily for three to six weeks.
3. Consuming locally sourced honey has been touted as a way to protect against allergies, but this has not been scientifically proved. Still, it doesn't hurt to swap out regular honey for local honey from a farmers market.
4. Hot broth and hot tea soothe a sore throat. Kimball likes miso soup and Organic Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals, which promotes respiratory health and is made with organic licorice root.
5. Avoid foods that trigger an inflammatory reaction in your body. Red wine, dairy and wheat products can exacerbate allergy symptoms in some people.