There are various treatments for seasonal allergies, but from today we know that a rather special one is added, broccoli sprouts! Although it may seem strange, it has been demonstrated that sulforaphane, an antioxidant contained in broccoli sprouts but also in other vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family, is able to reduce, in combination with the normal nasal sprays used in case of allergy, the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the journal Nutrients by a team from the University of California Medical Center (Yusin et al, Nutrients, 2021).
Antioxidants and seasonal allergies
The idea that antioxidants can improve the symptoms of allergies comes from an observation. That is that oxidative stress caused by daily exposure to pollutants, such as car exhaust fumes, can cause an increase in immunoglobulin E, associated with allergic reactions. This is why the Californian researchers decided to test the effectiveness of an antioxidant, the sulforaphane of broccoli, and verify its action against oxidative stress and, possibly, seasonal allergies.
Allergic rhinitis and broccoli sprouts, the experiment
50 people were thus recruited, all with a diagnosis of seasonal pollen allergy. A part of the volunteers took a supplement containing broccoli sprout extracts for three weeks and at the same time used a decongestant nasal spray commonly prescribed in the treatment of allergic-type rhinitis. The other part took a placebo and used the nasal spray. Both before the experiment and at the end, that is, after three weeks, the volunteers were subjected to a challenge test using plant allergens known to trigger seasonal allergies. What emerged was that those who had also taken the broccoli supplement had an improvement in symptoms within four hours following the allergy test, in particular a significant reduction in nasal congestion, compared to those who had not taken the supplement.
In short, a healthy diet that includes foods rich in antioxidants has not only benefits for the health of the body and brain but also helps to counteract seasonal allergies, typical of this period, and one of their very annoying symptoms, which is nasal congestion.