Foods That Help with Allergies – Plus 3 Delicious Recipes!

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By: Olivia Shneider | Kristina Guerrero | Victor Padilla Posted: 1:24 PM, May 15, 2019 Updated: 11:08 AM, Aug 5, 2019

Swimming, biking and hiking – we love those parts of summer! But the sneezing, itching and coughing – not so much. Allergies are going crazy right now, so we spoke with bio-nutritionist Dr. Shawn Talbott who shared three foods that help allergies. We also turned to Chef Teresa Hansen who has a few recipes to help incorporate these foods into our diets.


Foods That Help with Allergies


First, let’s learn a little more to understand how foods can help alleviate allergies. “The easiest way to think about what’s going on when we have an allergy is that your immune system is overactive,” explains Dr. Talbott. “We can actually use foods to calm down that overactive immune system so our allergy symptoms go away.” Awesome! Now let’s dig in to some foods that help with allergies.


1. Apples & Onions


Dr. Talbott first recommends eating apples and onions. “What it does is it helps reduce histamine, [and] reduce the overactive immune system response,” our doc says. So we headed to the kitchen with Chef Teresa to make an apple and onion compote snack. “Both of those foods are high in quercetin, which is a plant pigment found in many foods and plants, and it has anti-histamine properties,” informs Teresa. Start by caramelizing sweet Vidalia onions, then add chopped apples and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Serve on crackers with goat cheese and parsley. Who knew an apple an onion a day could keep the allergies away?!

Sautéed Apple Onion Crostini


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings



2 tablespoons avocado oil

1 sweet onion, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 pink lady apple, small diced

2 ounces goat cheese crumbles

¼ cup fresh parsley




Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan and onion. Season with salt and sauté for 10 minutes.


Add balsamic and apples to pan. Continue to cook until apples and onions are softened and caramelized.


Remove from heat. Season with additional salt and pepper.


Top each crack with 1-2 tablespoons apple/onion compote. Add goat cheese crumbles and fresh parsley.


2. Papaya


Next on our menu of foods that help with allergies is papaya. “One common side effect of allergies is mucus production,” says Dr. Talbott. “We can use enzymes from papaya to help clear up that mucus.” So here’s a recipe for papaya fried rice! Chef Teresa sautés green onions with ginger, garlic, and hot sauce – plus yellow and red peppers until they soften. Then she adds brown rice and diced papaya.

Papaya Fried Rice


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings



2 tablespoons avocado oil

¼ cup thinly-sliced green onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1-2 teaspoons hot sauce or sriracha

1 cup diced mixed bell pepper

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 cup diced papaya

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh lime

Fresh cilantro



Heat pan over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan along with onion, ginger, garlic, peppers and hot sauce. Cook for 5-8 minutes until peppers are softened.


Add brown rice, stir to combine and cook for 2-5 minutes until warmed through.


Add papaya, fresh lime and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve.


3. Mushrooms


Let’s end our roundup of foods that help with allergies with mushrooms. “Mushrooms have compounds called alpha glucans that can help to prime your immune system activity,” advises Dr. Talbott. So our final dish with Chef Teresa is roasted stuffed mushrooms. Make at home by mixing basil pesto into sautéed spinach and stuffing it into roasted mushroom caps. Then sprinkle with parmesan cheese and broil for five minutes. The full instructions are below!

Pesto Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings



2 pounds baby portabella mushrooms, stems removed

2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided

1 pound baby spinach

1/3 cup basil pesto

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste



Preheat oven to 425 F. Place whole mushrooms on sheet pan and drizzle with oil. Roast in oven for 25 minutes.


Meanwhile, sauté spinach with remaining 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a skillet until spinach cooks down and wilts. Remove excess water from spinach by pressing with a paper towel.


Stir basil pesto with spinach until well combined.


Stuff each mushroom with 1-2 tablespoons spinach/pesto mixture and top with parmesan cheese.


Broil in oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.


Feeling hungry yet? Now you know all about three foods that help with allergies.


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