10 ways to help prevent allergic reactions
Safeguard yourself against spring allergies with these simple strategies
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.