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7 Foods That Actually Fight Allergies

Continual sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, and endless misery?

1. Local honey

Although it only relies on anecdotal evidence, a daily dose of local honey is one of the most well advocated (and delicious!) remedies for allergic rhinitis. The idea is that locally produced honey, which contains pollen collected by bees from local plants, can act like a natural vaccine.

By introducing a small amount of allergen into your body, you're activating your immune system and over time you can build up a natural immunity against it. Make sure you always choose raw, unprocessed honey produced by local bees.

2. Garlic

These little bulbs are bursting with anti-viral and antibiotic properties, and can help boost your body's immune system, while also acting as a natural decongestant. In addition, garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is a good source of quercetin, a natural antihistamine.

Garlic is most effective when crushed, left to sit for 15 minutes to release the active ingredients, and then eaten raw. If the idea of raw garlic sounds terrifying, add to a salad dressing or make a pesto, and it's absolutely delicious.

3. Pineapple

A rich source of bromelain, an enzyme that has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to break down mucus and ease the nasal congestion associated with allergic rhinitis.

Make sure you eat the core of the pineapple (so not pineapple rings, sorry), as this contains the highest amount of bromelain.

4. Mackerel

And other oily fish such as salmon and sardines are packed with omega-3 fats. These are "essential" fats, meaning that our body can't make them itself, and so they have to be obtained through food.

Omega 3 fats possess anti-inflammatory properties, which are known to help reduce the risk of allergies occurring. For veggies and vegans, flaxseeds and chia seeds are the best source of these essential fats. Alternatively, for non-fish eaters, an omega-3 supplement may be recommended.

5. Lemons

Full of vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which in combination act as a natural antihistamine and natural decongestant, and possess strong anti-allergy properties.

Drink freshly squeezed lemon water (with a squeeze of local honey) throughout the day to give your immune system some much needed support.

6. Onions

A staple ingredient in every kitchen cupboard, the humble onion, often overlooked nutritionally in favour of more trendy/glamorous superfoods, is in fact packed with powerful health properties.

In particular, onions are a rich source of quercetin, an antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory thought to help fight the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Quercetin can also be found in apples, kale, grapes, berries, and parsley.

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7. Turmeric

Put an extra teaspoon into your curry, because this bright yellow spice possesses a wealth of therapeutic properties. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been shown to prevent the release of histamine in the body (which causes allergic rhinitis symptoms).

It also has anti-inflammatory effects, and may help to ease inflamed airways associated with allergic rhinitis.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.