The Most Powerful Anti-Allergy Foods

Eat these delicious foods now to prep your body to better handle seasonal allergies.

February 4, 2015

There are a number of foods that can help curb allergy symptoms. Here's a quick look at a few of the most potent.

Onions and Garlic

They might not be the best for your breath, but onions and garlic are great for controlling your allergies. Both flavorful root vegetables contain quercetin, a natural mast cell stabilizer (antihistamine). Because of these antihistamine properties, quercetin helps fight the inflammation that accompanies the allergic response. Other foods that contain quercetin include apples and tea.

Citrus Fruits

Similar to quercetin, the vitamin C in oranges, tangerines, and other citrus fruits has antihistamine effects that can help fight allergy symptoms. Other good sources of vitamin C include strawberries, peppers, and tomatoes.


The tart tropical fruit contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Research shows that bromelain can ease sore throats and irritated sinuses. And a 2012 study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that it helped ease airway inflammation in mice, which is evidence that it may help with allergic asthma. Plus, pineapple is a great source of the allergy-fighting antioxidant vitamin C. To get the most from pineapple, eat the fresh fruit. (Eat it fresh to avoid the chemical BPA, along with added sugars, often found in canned pineapple.)

Broccoli Sprouts
Recent research published in the journal Food and Function shows that broccoli sprout extract (BSE) may actually be able to protect against the allergy- and asthma-promoting effects of diesel exhaust particles (DEPs), which are pollutants that, for various reasons, actually have the power to exacerbate allergic reactions.


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Researchers exposed 29 people to DEPs and then measured their inflammatory responses in terms of increases in white blood cell counts. Test subjects then got a dose of BSE in mango juice every day for four days. When participants took the BSE, their white blood cell response to the DEPs was 54 percent lower than when they didn't drink the BSE. The researchers concluded that eating broccoli and broccoli sprouts may help lessen the impact of particulate pollution on people with asthma and allergies.

Red Grapes, Blueberries, and Red Wine

These deep-purple treats have one important ingredient in common: a polyphenolic compound called resveratrol. In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that resveratrol helped suppress the IgE-mediated allergic responses (those spurred by the immunoglobulin E antibody) in mice.

Watermelon and Tomatoes

Both of these summertime fruits are high in lycopene, which has been shown to decrease the allergic response and the accumulation of symptom-producing cell types in the lungs (specifically, the white blood cells called eosinophils). In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Asthma, asthmatics were found to have lower levels of lycopene in their blood than participants without asthma.

Chocolate (Cocoa)
If you have a sweet tooth, I've saved the best antiallergy food for last. Cocoa has been found to have some antiallergy properties via reduction in IgE synthesis. In a 2012 study published in the journal Pharmacologigal Research, laboratory animals fed a cocoa-enriched diet for four weeks had lower levels of IgE than rats fed a standard diet. (Check out these other benefits of dark chocolate.)

Adapted from Dr. Psenka's Seasonal Allergy Solution