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Fighting Vs. Fueling Allergies With Food

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) --- Spring allergies are in full bloom and you may already be taking medicines to prevent or treat symptoms.

The question remains: Is there anything else you can take?

To reduce inflammation from allergies, some foods may reduce swelling throughout your body.

Red apples, red onion, and sweet potatoes contain a chemical called quercitin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

"There are several articles that are several decades old, where they actually did clinical trials with this compound, and they found it to be anti-allergic," says Dr. Deborah Gentile, an allergist at Allegheny General Hospital.

Be careful, though. Some foods can make allergies worse.

"Many people with seasonal allergies will also react to certain foods," Dr. Gentile cautions.

Celery can cross react with grass.

Hot peppers can dilate nasal blood vessels and make your runny nose feel worse.

And you may want to avoid bananas, bell peppers, even cucumbers if you suffer from ragweed allergies in the fall.

"Some people who are allergic to trees will actually get itching and swelling in their mouth when they consume a fruit that grows on a tree, and that's because a fruit comes from the pollen and there's some cross reactivity," Dr. Gentile explains.

If you try to self medicate by eating a bunch of these good anti-inflammatory foods right now, it may be too little too late. It's better to have a diet rich in these all year round.


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