The daily activities and quality of life for about 7.5 percent of adults and 9 percent of children in the United States are impaired by the sneezing, coughing, and red, itchy eyes that are symptomatic of allergies.2
The best medicine for seasonal allergies may not be medicine. Instead, healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle go a long way in lessening symptoms. A study of 56 different countries found that populations with higher rates of tobacco use, trans fat intake, and acetaminophen use had higher rates of allergies and asthma. However, populations with higher intake of plant-based foods had lower rates of allergies and asthma.1
When you follow a high-nutrient diet, you are creating an environment in your body that promotes proper immune function and regulation of the inflammatory response. As a result, it may help to blunt allergy symptoms naturally.
Pollens from grass, trees, and weeds are the primary culprits.
The immune system inappropriately recognizes these airborne substances as harmful invaders and produces antibodies. Each time one comes into contact with the pollen, an immune attack ensues, leading to inflammation and cold-like symptoms.
Allergy Development in Children
Unfortunately, allergic conditions are increasing, and there are several theories for why this is occurring. One theory is the hygiene hypothesis, the idea that having less exposure to pathogens and bacteria early in life increases our susceptibility to allergic conditions. According to this theory, early viral and bacterial exposure activates an immune response that aids the developing immune system, making later-life allergies less likely. Supporting this hypothesis, there is a decreased risk for those having pets, a greater number of siblings, and a greater number of early viral infections.3,8,9