Apr 14, 2009

Nutrition and diet for allergies

Nutrition and diet help in the allergy treatment and allergy prevention.

If you have food allergy, eliminate those items from your diet. Even if you don't have any identified food allergy, try a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, reduce the intake of foods that may stimulate inflammation (such as meats, full fat dairy products, sugar, and highly processed foods). Change in your diet may improve allergic symptoms.

Include Essential Fatty Acids in your diet.

Omega-6 fatty acids have a longstanding history of folk use as allergy treatment. They are essential fatty acids (EFAs), meaning that they are needed by the body and must be obtained from the diet. People who are prone to allergies may require more essential fatty acids and often have difficulty converting linoleic acid (an inflammation-provoking type of omega-6 fatty acid) to gamma-linolenic acid (an anti-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid). Studies on the use of essential fatty acids for allergy treatment and prevention have had mixed results. Whether taking a gamma linolic acid supplement improves your symptoms, therefore, may be very individual. Work with your healthcare provider to first determine if it is safe for you to try gamma linolic acid and then follow your allergy symptoms closely for any signs of change. Gamma linolic acid is found in spirulina and seed oils of evening primrose, black currant, borage, and fungal oils.

In terms of dietary changes relative to essential fatty acids, you should try to eat foods rich an omega-3 fatty acids (such as cold-water fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts). Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and limiting foods with omega-6 fatty acids (found, for example, in egg yolks, meats, and cooking oils including corn, safflower, and cottonseed,) may reduce allergy symptoms in general. This is because omega-3 fatty acids tend to decrease inflammation while omega-6 fatty acids (other than GLA) tend to increase inflammation.

Take in Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Studies suggest that L. acidophilus, "friendly" bacteria found in the intestines, enhance the immune system and helps in the allergy treatment and allergy prevention. It is thought to have the potential to lower the risk of allergies and suppress allergy symptoms, including allergic rhinitis.

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