Spring is around the corner and allergy season is just behind it. For those who suffer from seasonal allergy symptoms like coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose, there are a wide range of foods that can help curb those symptoms.

Garlic and Onions: Quercetin, a natural antihistamine, is found abundantly in garlic and onions, as well as in apples and tea. It helps relieve the inflammation that accompanies an allergic response.

Citrus Fruits: Like quercetin, vitamin C has natural antihistamine properties. The best foods for vitamin C are oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and many other citrus fruits, as well as peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes.

Pineapples: Pineapples contain bromelain which is an extremely strong anti-inflammatory. Bromelain can help sinuses feel better and helps sore throats. Pineapples are also an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s best to eat pineapples fresh rather than canned to avoid extra sugar.

Broccoli Sprouts: Particle pollutants, like DEPs (diesel exhaust particles) can actually make the allergic response worse. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts, particularly in the form of broccoli sprout extract (BSE), can protect against the effects of DEPs.

Red Wine, Red Grapes, and Blueberries: Resveratrol, a polyphenolic compound found in these delicious treats, has been shown to restrain the IgE-mediated allergic responses.

Watermelon and Tomatoes: These contain lycopene which decreases the response to allergens, and lessens the white blood cells in the lungs, which cause allergy symptoms.

Chocolate (Cocoa): It’s been found that cocoa has antiallergy properties which reduce synthesis of IgE. When laboratory animals were fed a diet higher in cocoa for four weeks, they had less IgE in their bodies than rats which had a normal diet.

Taking in foods that help with seasonal allergies, rather than over-the-counter medicines, can alleviate allergy symptoms without the side effects and chemicals found in typical allergy medications.