The Secret World of Allergies
The very thought of allergies conjures up images of stuffy noses and trouble breathing. Above all, they bring back memories of extreme discomfort.
Also, there is a dangerous side effect that we do not always keep in mind. With allergies come inflammation. Overall, that is not a problem. After all, inflammation is a body response to try and get rid of intruders.
On the other hand, chronic inflammation is a slow-burning challenge to the body. We spoke about that in a previous article.
What causes allergies?
Your body is an amazing construct. In fact, one of the most fascinating of its components is the immune system. The immune system resides mainly in the gut. An allergy is defined as an abnormal reaction to a foreign substance.
Have you ever reacted harshly towards someone because you misheard what they said? This is pretty much what happens in our bodies when an allergic reaction occurs.
The immune system can either have a complete misreading of a safe substance and see it as a pathogen. Conversely, it can become sensitised.
What does that mean?
Let’s try an example. When you eat the same foods continuously, your immune system can start reacting to it. We do not always notice this type of reaction. Still, symptoms give us a clue.
This type of allergic response is known as sensitivity. It is especially relevant to what we ingest. Hence, food sensitivities can be a major challenge in our lives.
How do we test for allergies?
However, we can do testing to find out what we are sensitive to. Two main tests are used at the moment:
Immunoglobulin E (IgE)
IgE tests are sometimes referred to as RAST tests. These are blood tests that measure an immediate response to a substance. A positive result is then labelled an allergy.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG)
IgE tests are usually finger-prick tests. These tests work on the subtler and often missed responses to substances. They are mostly related to food types. A positive result in IgG can indicate an allergy as well as food intolerance.
Are there natural treatments available for allergies?
The short answer is yes. There are several options to help with the treatment of allergies.
Our secret weapon - Quercetin
Quercetin and its health benefits
Quercetin is a natural yellow pigment. It belongs to a group of plant compounds called flavonoids. These compounds are rich in antioxidant activity. They also exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and antioxidant effects.
Antioxidants mop up and neutralize free radicals inside the body. These unstable molecules can cause damage to the cells when their levels are too high. This can result in serious conditions like cancer and diabetes.
Foods containing quercetin can help manage several inflammatory health issues.
Chronic inflammation can eventually lead to damaged cells, tissue, and organs. Over time, this can lead to chronic conditions. This can include cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune disorders, allergies, and heart disease can also result from it. Because of this, it is important to keep inflammation under control.
Some of the main causes of chronic inflammation are stress and viral and bacterial pathogens.
Additionally, foods like sugar and refined carbohydrates contribute to the problem.
The same goes for smoking and long-term exposure to irritants like pollution. Obesity, high blood insulin levels, and auto-immune responses are also contributing factors.
Quercetin is the most well-researched antioxidant. In fact, numerous studies done on this flavonoid have yielded some impressive results.
Quercetin and Allergies
This natural antihistamine can relieve the symptoms of asthma and the effects of seasonal allergies. These include symptoms like coughing, sneezing, runny noses, itching, and watery eyes.
Quercetin has been used for centuries in herbal formulas. It has been used to control food allergies and to provide relief from skin conditions like eczema and hives.
For even stronger anti-inflammatory effects, take Quercetin as a supplement. It is safe to take as a supplement. More importantly, it has little to no side effects. However, doses exceeding 1000IU a day could result in headaches and tingling in the arms.
20 foods containing quercetin
Quercetin is the most abundant flavonoid in a healthy diet.
- Green tea
- Spring onions
- Iceberg lettuce
- Red currants
Recipe: Roasted Anti Allergie Deliciousness
- 250 g broccoli
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 medium chilli, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- olive oil
- parmesan cheese
- Heat the oven to 220 degrees C. Next, cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
- Put the broccoli onto a shallow oven tray. After that, toss it with olive oil. Season with a bit of salt.
- Roast for 4 minutes then add the chilli, garlic, and lemon zest. Mix it well.
- Put it back into the oven for another 4 minutes until the broccoli is done.
- Finish with a bit of lemon juice and grate parmesan cheese over.