The root cause of seasonal allergies is typically an increase in inflammation and hyper-reactivity in the body. Meaning, our bodies are hyper-alert to anything that seems foreign to us and we mount an inflammatory response by releasing histamine. It is histamine that causes red, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, hives etc., released from mast cells. It is important to build our immune system and decrease inflammation to eliminate this reaction, and it all starts in the gut…surprise, surprise! 😃
Here are 5 things you can do to prevent spring allergies:
1. Adjusting your diet - Focus on nutrient rich colourful foods to support your digestive system and provide necessary nutrients. Eliminate gluten, dairy, and artificial sugars for at least 3-4 weeks (one month of your life isn't so bad), to drastically decrease inflammation in your body. If you need some guidance feel free to reach out. Here's a list of low-histamine foods that are great to add to your diet:
- freshly cooked meat, poultry (frozen or fresh)
- freshly caught fish
- gluten-free grains: rice, quinoa
- fresh fruits: mango, pear, watermelon, apple, kiwi, cantaloupe, grapes
- fresh vegetables (except tomatoes, spinach, avocado, and eggplant)
- dairy substitutes: coconut milk, rice milk, hemp milk, almond milk
- cooking oils: olive oil, coconut oil
- leafy herbs
- herbal teas
2. Probiotics - This is an important step in healing the gut and boosting your immune system. With the abundance of antibiotics taken, it is likely that your gut flora is lacking the beneficial bacteria that are vital to our health. Adding a probiotic supplement with at least 11 billion units, eating 1-2 tbsp of coconut kefir, or adding fermented foods to your diet are all possible options.
3. Nettles - This is one of my favourite herbs for spring allergies and liver detoxification. It acts as a great natural anti-histamine. I add it to my allergy teas or give it in capsule form. If you are antsy for a quick fix this is a great start.
4. Quercetin - Another good natural anti-histamine. Quercitin is found in foods such as apples and onions, however a higher dose is typically more effective for an alternative to OTC anti-histamines. This is one supplement I used to wean myself off of Reactine those years ago.
5. Vitamin C - This helpful vitamin acts as a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. It is helpful to build your immune system as well. I typically start with 1000-2000mg of buffered vitamin C, and be weary of an increased dose in pregnancy and its potential to cause loose stools.
Several of these suggestions can be mixed into one supplement and taken all together to minimize the miserable effects of spring allergies. This is generally what I do with my patients. In conclusion, by addressing your gut and immune health with a few tweaks, you can improve or forever eliminate spring allergies so there really IS nothing to sneeze about. 😃
If you have any questions or visit me for a free 15 minute consult. I'd be happy to help!
In health & happiness,
(Photo credit: avivaromm.com, womensday.com)