Most of us probably have a least one allergy. After all, we are surrounded by any number of triggers every day of our lives. Foods, pets, pollen, mould, dust, and chemicals can all work individually or together to cause an allergic reaction.
You may be one of the millions taking antihistamines as per your doctor’s advice. But one of the most effective ways to prevent allergies is through healthy nutrition — with the added benefit of not having to worry about the side effects of prescription drugs.
Think of the next three minerals as alternative remedies to taking antihistamines. By boosting your nutrition health with magnesium, selenium and zinc, you could help to allergy-proof your immune system.
Now — here’s a rundown on magnesium, your first allergy buster. Magnesium helps with the formation of new cells in your body. Specifically, it is involved in the growth and development of something called “B lymphocytes.” B lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. Your body makes millions of different types of B cells that circulate in your blood and lymph.
These cells basically take on the role of immune system surveillance. Keep your magnesium levels high and your immune system will be stronger and less susceptible to allergens. The recommended daily intake (RDI) for magnesium is 350 micrograms (mcg).
Next up is selenium. Selenium is vital for antibody production. Your body uses this trace mineral to produce a particular enzyme that acts as a powerful antioxidant. This antioxidant roams around killing free radicals before they can oxidize your cells and damage them. When you are deficient in selenium, you are going to have a decrease in immunity. Again — this can make you more susceptible to suffering allergic reactions. The RDI for selenium is 35 mcg.
The third mineral that could help allergy-proof your immune system is zinc. A deficiency in zinc can cause a major loss in immune function. Without zinc, lymph tissues shrink and the number of T-cells you have decreases.
Zinc also plays a role in food digestion, energy production, cellular growth and repair, cognitive function, and insulin production. In general, it is very difficult to feel healthy when you are deficient in zinc. And that includes whether or not you are going to be susceptible to developing allergies.
In a clinical trial performed at the Allergy and Respiratory Research Group Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Medical School, researchers set out to see if fruit and vegetable intake, along with zinc, and vitamins A, C, D and E could cut the risk of developing allergies.
They searched 11 databases and analyzed the data from 62 reports. They found that zinc did exert a beneficial effect on asthma and allergic outcomes. So keep your levels up! The RDI for zinc is 15 mcg.