It’s that time of year again. We eagerly await the longer, sunny days, but for many, the sun is clouded by sniffling, sneezing and watery eyes due to seasonal allergies from grass and pollen. It’s hard to believe, but it is possible to prevent this from happening, even for long term sufferers, so this month we’d like to share some tips with you that will help to prevent and alleviate your allergy symptoms.
The key is prevention.
Start eating these allergy prevention and immune balancing foods as early as possible:
• Quercetin and bioflavinoid-rich foods: dark berries, bright veggies, apples and onions
• Vitamin C-rich foods: dark greens such as broccoli and spinach, as well as citrus fruits, and red and yellow peppers
These foods help stabilize the mast cells (allergy-related immune cells) so that histamine isn’t released. It’s the release of histamine, which can (in-part) be the cause of the allergic reaction. Stabilizing your mast cells can help decrease allergy symptoms thereby decreasing the need for anti-histamine or allergy medications.
More ways to boost the immune system and prevent allergic reactions include:
• Vitamin D3 Supplementation: helps balance the immune system. Often times, this vitamin needs to be taken in supplement form for two reasons, particularly in Canada. First, we have less exposure to the sun on a regular basis. Second, there are no foods quite high enough in this vitamin for to us to rely on proper vitamin D3 intake through food consumption alone.
• Echinacea Root: balances the immune system so it’s less reactive to allergens. Not all echinacea supplements are created equal so the recommendation is to speak with a naturopathic doctor (ND) about proper forms and dosage.
• Probiotics (specific formulations): helps strengthen the immune system so that it is less reactive to allergens.
• Infrared Sauna: gets circulation moving to help detoxify and break down allergens and histamine in the body. This also helps boost the immune system.
• Contrast Showers: works similar to the infrared sauna, but can be done at home. It works as follows: a 3-minute hot shower, followed by a 30-second cold shower, repeated at least three times and finishing with a cold shower.
If your allergies typically are quite severe, consider booking a consultation to discuss specific treatment approaches, and symptom management.