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Allergy-Fighting Foods

The gorgeous, crisp weather. The colorful leaves, which are just starting to fall. A patch filled with perfectly round pumpkins. The uncontrollable urge to sneeze. Yes, autumn is officially here, and with it comes seasonal allergies. Sadly, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology announced that the season would extend through the end of October this year! But you don’t have to suffer. Remedies for your itchy eyes, nose, and throat, and your sniffles, sneezes, and sinus congestion are as close as your kitchen. Grab some tissues and read on to find out how you can fight fall allergies…. with food!

Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower

Broccoli stifles your sniffles in multiple ways! Plants from the crucifer family, such as broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower, have been shown to help clear congested sinuses. And broccoli is loaded with vitamin C. Research has shown about 500 mg of this powerful antioxidant a day can help alleviate allergy symptoms, by easing inflammation. One cup of broccoli has approximately 80 mg of vitamin C. Cabbage and cauliflower both contain around 56 mg per cup.

Kale and Collard Greens

Kale, another member of the crucifer family, packs a powerful punch. Studies have shown people with low levels of vitamin A are more likely to suffer from allergies and asthma. Kale is rich in carotenoids, plant pigments that the body turns into a form of vitamin A proven to ease allergy symptoms. Collard greens are also rich in carotenoids and protective phytochemicals. The darker the leaves, the better.

Carrots and Celery

Carrots, another carotenoid-rich vegetable, contain a healthy dose of beta-carotene to help ward off the misery of seasonal allergy symptoms. You will get more vitamin A by lightly steaming your carrots instead of eating them raw. Celery, on the other hand, is one veggie that you can eat raw or cooked without sacrificing nutrients. Celery is packed with vitamin C and anti-inflammatory compounds, making it a champion in the fight against allergies.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are superheroes when it comes to fighting allergies. Their secret weapon? Quercetin. This amazing flavonoid acts like an antihistamine in the body, and like vitamin C, reduces allergic inflammation in your system. If you have severe fall allergies, you may want to consult your doctor about taking a 400-500 mg supplement in addition to adding more onions and garlic to your diet. Quercetin is not easily absorbed from food.


Fish—such as wild salmon, tuna, and halibut—is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are famous for their anti-inflammatory properties, and can help bring down the sinus swelling caused by allergic rhinitis. And like vitamin C, omega-3s can also help the body combat allergies by giving the immune system a big boost.


It just wouldn’t be fall without pumpkins! Like leafy greens and broccoli, pumpkins are loaded with carotenoids, the form of vitamin A that helps combat allergy symptoms like a stuffy nose. Pumpkins are also a tasty source of vitamin C, an important nutrient for preventing and easing seasonal allergies. So go ahead, have a slice of pumpkin pie!

Fall allergy season is planning on sticking around for a while. Stop your suffering! Stock up, and enjoy this bountiful harvest of allergy-fighting foods. Your fridge, farmers market or local grocery store is waiting for you.