updated 4/17/2008 2:48:17 PM ET 2008-04-17T18:48:17

Ever bite an apple and felt your mouth itch or swell? You might be allergic to birch pollen. Foods that are in the same family as trees, grasses and weeds you’re allergic to share similar protein structures, so if you’re allergic to one, you could react to the others, says horticulturist Thomas Ogren, author of "Allergy-Free Gardening" (Ten Speed Press). Called oral allergy syndrome, it kicks in when allergen counts are high. Other common cross-reactions: birch and peaches; grass and watermelon; ragweed and melon. The good news: Enjoying certain tasty foods can help ease seasonal allergies.

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Turmeric. Found in curry, turmeric is an anti-inflammatory that helps calm the immune system as it works to ease systemic inflammation.

Yogurt. Its bacteria help desensitize the immune system to pollen. In one study, patients who ate yogurt daily had 90 percent fewer allergy symptoms.

Fish. The good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, cod and mackerel are natural anti-inflammatories.

Fruit pies. Baking the fruits that can activate a pollen allergy can break down and help neutralize the proteins that cause symptoms.

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