Fight winter allergies with these food items

Seasonal Woes

Fight winter allergies  with these food items

Winter is the time when a host of allergies set in. Those with a history of dry and itchy skin often develop the dreaded eczema, and those with asthma and bronchitis suffer attacks, particularly at this time. Doctors blame fluctuating temperature, dry winds, allergens and smog in the environment for the above conditions but also say that certain food items can save you the trouble. At the same time, avoid certain others to keep these problems away.

Dr Puneet Khanna, Senior Consultant, Respiratory Medicine, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, says, “In winters, the number of patients to my OPD more than doubles. These are, firstly, patients already suffering from asthma; secondly, those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) caused largely by smoking, and lastly, victims of Lung Fibrosis. To all three kinds, I advise the same kind of food and warn against.”

“Most importantly, try and take as much home-cooked, fresh and warm food as possible, instead of cold and stale food from outside. Soups, broths, porridge and vegetables which are hot in nature are advisable. However, don’t take fruits like water melon, cheeku and pineapple which cool down the body.”

Dr Rajesh Chawla, Senior Consultant, Respiratory Department, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, adds, “Stay away from oily and spicy food since it aggravates acidity and respiratory problems. Dairy products like yoghurt, lassi and sweets, especially when cold, are also a complete no-no. One must be careful with dry fruits too as these are had unwashed and uncooked and could carry significant amount of dust and germs.”

Those affected by skin problems in winters such as eczema can have dry fruits but should be wary of peanuts. Dr Amit Luthra, Dermatologist, Ishira Skin Clinic, cautions, “Peanuts are known to exacerbate atopic eczema. So be careful of them. I also discourage patients of chronic skin issues from having sea food which also triggers skin allergies. It is also important to avoid fast food when suffering from such conditions as preservatives and nitrates can set-off skin allergies too.”

Dr RK Joshi, Senior Dermatologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital recommends cod liver oil instead, “Essential amino acids are important to keep the skin nourished, but if you think fish could cause allergies, take cod liver oil. Evening primrose oil, available in the form of capsules too, is also beneficial. And don’t forget citrus fruits - oranges, lemons, amla etc. Vitamin C is critical to skin health.”

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