It’s that time of year again. It finally warms up, the trees are blossoming, flowers are in full bloom and the sun is shining. It really doesn’t get much better. We can finally get outside to workout instead of being cooped up in a gym, plant our gardens, play in the yard with the family, and soak up some much needed sunshine. That is…if you could find a way to naturally beat your allergies.
Seasonal allergy sufferers go outside and start sneezing with watery eyes and maybe even a sinus headache. Allergies may seem very mysterious, something that you just have to live with. But let’s take a closer look.
John Hopkins Medicine explains that allergies are actually a disorder of the immune system. It is simply the body overreacting to harmless substances, producing antibodies to attack the substance. As a result, we suffer from many symptoms.
Allegra, Claritin, Flonase, and Zyrtec would like you to think that there’s not much you can do to naturally stop the nasty effects of allergies, but in fact there is.
There are many things you can do to calm your allergies down. It ranges from eating more of certain foods and less of others, to supplementing utilizing synergistic blends of vitamins and herbs. I personally have seen great results managing allergies in both myself and patients just by making some simple changes in your daily life.
Foods to avoid if you have allergies
There are certain foods that can cause your immune system to go on high alert. Here are some foods that you should avoid because they will further drive your allergies, and amplify their effect on your body. Be mindful of the foods you eat beyond this list. Every body is different and there may be particular foods that drive your allergies. If you notice there is, simply cut it out of your diet for a while and see what happens.
- Conventional dairy
- Artificial sweeteners
- Processed foods
- Sunflower seeds
- Bottled citrus juice
Foods you should eat if you have allergies
The foods below will calm your immune system down and allow your body to tolerate its environment better.
- Raw local honey
- Hot and spicy foods
- Bone broth
- Probiotic-rich foods
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fresh organic vegetables
- Grass-fed meats
- Free-range poultry
- Wild-caught fish
My 3 personal favorites out of the above list are the bone broth, raw honey, and apple cider vinegar. The bone broth helps to heal the gut, which ultimately heals the immune system, which is in overdrive. The apple cider vinegar works to boost the immune system and drain the lymphatic system. And last (but not certainly not least) is local (must be from local bees/ local pollen) raw honey. In a randomized controlled study conducted by the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, patients that consumed honey had significantly better control of their allergy symptoms than those on conventional allergy medications. Local honey works to relieve symptoms because it contains local pollen that is causing your allergies. A couple of tablespoons each day can relieve your itchy, watery eyes, congestion and the general symptoms of hay fever.
Helpful Herbs and Supplements that I use around allergy season
Supplements have a huge impact on your health. Let’s face it: sometimes its easier to grab supplements than it is to make sure you eat one of every food in the list above daily. At the very least, supplements are the cherry on top of a healthy lifestyle.
- AllerAssist: is a synergistic blend of nutrients that provides natural support to help balance the immune response during allergy season. This bioactive and highly absorbable allergy supplement is perfect for those who need help with their allergies.
- Spirulina: (I like my greens in a greens powder like this one)
- Vitamin A: I take my vitamins and minerals in this whole food supplement
- Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): Studies suggest that berberine, the active ingredient in goldenseal, has antibacterial and immune-enhancing properties that may be helpful for seasonal allergies.
Lifestyle strategies to reduce allergic reactions
Below are four lifestyle recommendations to reduce the exposure to the allergen, or pollen, that is causing your reactions in the first place.
- Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible.
- Continually wipe down services such as counters, tables and flooring (vacuum carpets) in order to keep the dust and pollen indoors to a minimum.
- Be aware of your pets tracking in pollen. Wipe them down and bath them more frequently.
- Be sure to wash sheets and clothing more frequently.
Let me know how these strategies helped you naturally beat your allergies in the comments below!