10 ways to help prevent allergic reactions

Safeguard yourself against spring allergies with these simple strategies

1 / 10
kiwi woman eating allergies

Eat one kiwifruit every morning

They're rich in vitamin C, which acts as a natural antihistamine. Some studies link low levels of C with allergies. When your allergies are flaring up, consider taking a vitamin C supplement.

2 / 10
ac air condition fan woman cooling cooldown hot

Turn on the AC

Air conditioners do just that - condition the air. They remove mold-friendly moisture and filter allergens entering the house. Just make sure to clean or change the filters often or you'll just make things worse.

3 / 10
Allergies

Choose chicken instead of beef

A two-year study of 334 adults with hay fever and 1,336 without found those who ate the most trans oleic acid (a form of monounsaturated fat found primarily in meat and dairy products) were nearly three times as likely to have hay fever as those who ate the least.

4 / 10
doormat dog cute home

Choose a doormat made of synthetic material

Doormats made of natural material (wicker, etc.) can break down and become excellent feeding grounds for mites, mold, and fungus, and then get tracked into the house. Wash all mats weekly.

5 / 10
light

Clean all dead insects from your porch lights

As they decompose, they can become an allergen source.

6 / 10
woman with fish oil pill

Pop a fish-oil supplement every morning after you brush your teeth

A study of people with allergic asthma (asthma caused by allergies) found those who took daily fish-oil supplements for a month had lower levels of leukotrienes, chemicals that contribute to the allergic reaction.

7 / 10
shoe rack shelf shoes

Put a shelf by the front door

Encourage family and guests to remove their shoes before entering to reduce the amount of dust, mold, and other allergens tracked in. Keep some soft slippers in a basket by the front door for people who don't want to walk around in their stocking feet.

8 / 10
laundry

Wash bedding in very hot water every week

It's the best way to kill those pesky microscopic dust mites that love your bed even more than you do.

9 / 10
pumpkin pie

Avoid foods that contain the additive monosodium benzoate

An Italian study found that monosodium benzoate triggered allergy-like symptoms, including runny, stuffy nose, sneezing, and nasal itching, in adults without allergies. The preservative is often found in juices, pie fillings, pickles, olives, and salad dressings.

10 / 10
woman vacuuming and cleaning

Steam-clean your furniture and carpets

When cleaning, use a solution of disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT), a boron-based product, in the water. A 2004 study published in the journal Allergy found DOT cut dust mite populations and their associated allergen levels to undetectable levels for up to six months.

Related:
• 10 food additives you should avoid
7 surprising ways to overcome allergy triggers
10 ways to sleep better during allergy season