6 foods that fight summer allergies Dealing with a stuffy nose and itchy eyes? Nutritionist Miranda Malisani shares how to reduce summer allergy symptoms with these six foods. By Erica Rae Chong 2014-06-24 12:51:45 6 foods that fight summer allergies Slideshow View Slideshow 6 foods that fight summer allergies Replay This Slideshow Next Slideshow Previous Next By: Photo: © Copyright View more galleries The biggest health proble 8 healthy BBQ recipes 6 inventions to improve y 1. Foods that are naturally red, blue or purple “Red, blue and purple coloured foods are rich in a plant pigment called anthocyanins. They have antihistamine properties which help to reduce inflammation,” says Toronto-based nutritionist Miranda Malisani. “The deeper the colour the higher the concentration." Food like red beets, cherries, red onions and blueberries can help reduce nasal congestion. Whether you eat them raw or cooked or toss them into your salad, they’re a great addition to your daily diet. Recipe to try: Beet Borscht 2. Omega-3 fatty acids This is one type of fat you don’t want to cut back on. It's typically found in fish like salmon, halibut and mackerel but can also found in flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts. “Anything that’s a healthy fat helps to bring down inflammation in the body,” says Malisani. “I’d recommend having a fatty fish two to three times a week.” Recipe to try: Fisher’s Loft Salmon with Chickpea Mash 3. Kefir Kefir is a fermented milk product, similar to yogurt but generally more sour and viscous. It’s a good source of beneficial yeast and probiotic bacteria, both of which are great for your gut, according to Malisani. “Gut health plays a really important role in protection from seasonal allergies. Eighty percent of your immune system is found in your digestive system,” she says. Malisani recommends having a tablespoon of kefir daily. Or try adding it to your smoothies or yogurt. Recipe to try: Energy-Boosting Smoothie (But add a tablespoon of kefir to it.) 4. Spicy foods If you’re sniffling, heat things up with a little spice. Cayenne, chili peppers and ginger help act as natural decongestants by thinning mucus and clearing the nasal passages. “I tell my clients to add a bit of cayenne or a bit of ginger to water and sip on it. You can also add it to dip. If you’re juicing, add some cayenne and ginger into your juice,” says Malisani. Recipe to try: Hot Spicy Soup 5. Raw local honey Be sure not to get the processed kind, warns Malisani. Raw local honey still contains a lot of the natural enzymes and it contains traces of pollen and allergens. “If you can buy honey within 50 kilometres of your house, it’s likely carrying some of the pollen you might be allergic to,” she says. “It’s just enough of the allergen to boost your immune system without making your allergy worse.” Recipe to try: Honey-Drenched Phyllo Coil 6. Stinging nettle For a natural decongestant, add some natural honey to a steaming cup of nettle tea. “I really like stinging nettle tea with natural local honey. You get this great natural antihistamine alternative,” says Malisani. Boil 2/3 cups of water then pour it over three to four teaspoons of dried nettle leaves. Steep it for five minutes before straining the leaves and adding a teaspoon of raw local honey. “You can drink this a couple of times a day but it is a diuretic, so you should drink extra water to stay hydrated,” she says. Visit your local health foods store to find dried stinging nettle leaves. You may find stinging nettle tea bags, but those aren’t as potent, says Malisani.For more natural remedies for summer allergies, check out these 5 tips.