In the spring, the temperature is rising, and the sun starts to shine more. However, these pleasant occurrences tend to lead to higher levels of pollen, mold and other allergens, and higher levels of allergens can cause issues for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Most people reach for an inhaler or oral allergy medications to combat allergies. However, COPD patients might also be able to protect their bodies from allergy symptoms with the foods they eat. Here are 3 foods in particular that can help protect you from allergies:
Raw and cooked onions are an ingredient that many of us include in our diet without even thinking. It goes great as a raw vegetable in a mixed salad or salsa. Onions can also be sauteed or roasted along with other vegetables or a protein to add some delicious flavor to your cooking.
One benefit of onions that many people may have overlooked is their ability to reduce allergy symptoms. Allergies cause the body to produce chemicals called histamines, and these chemicals can lead to airway inflammation and other symptoms. Research shows that onions contain a chemical called quercetin, which helps block the release of histamines. In fact, it’s a main ingredient of many allergy drugs. However, you can get quercetin naturally by eating onions; red onions contain the highest levels of this helpful chemical.
Berries aren’t only a tasty dessert or addition to yogurt. They can also help protect COPD patients against allergies. These fruits contain a high amount of vitamin C, and this vitamin can help your allergies in several ways.
It can help reduce the inflammation that allergies cause, since studies have shown that it’s a potent anti-inflammatory. In fact, 1 study reports that 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day led to decreased inflammation in its participants. This vitamin can increase the strength of your immune system as well, contributing to cellular functions, thereby decreasing your risk of lung infections.
Out of all the allergy-fighting options out there, most people probably wouldn’t list fish as an option. But fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel can actually be protective against allergy symptoms like coughing and wheezing.
Such fish options contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that these fatty acids can have many benefits for chronic lung disease patients; 1 study reports that patients who increased their intake of an omega-3 fatty acid called ALA had a 40% decrease in their coughing. The same study reports that these participants also had a 37% reduction in wheezing.
Find Out How Lung Health Institute Can Help Treat Your COPD Symptoms
A major component of this plan is information about many lung-healthy food options, including seafood, as well as information about specific recipes that are designed to help your lungs. AI2 also includes exercise tips, sleeping tips and hydration advice. All these natural methods are combined with the intention of helping to boost your immune system and training your body to fight inflammation using fats.
Take the next step to Breathe Easier™. Contact a Lung Health Institute patient coordinator today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.