Many of us will be spending time outdoors with our families this summer, but the beautiful blooming flowers and trees producing airborne pollen may put a damper on our plans, as they cause sniffing and sneezing. While seasonal allergies are a reality and affect about 35 million Americans, there are proactive and integrative approaches you can take to lessen your symptoms and fully appreciate summer’s splendor.
Here are 7 ways you can make seasonal allergies less annoying:
1. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods cause irritation and inflammation in the body, which can make your seasonal allergies worse.
2. Embrace An Anti-Inammatory Diet
Eating a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as flaxseeds, walnuts, cold-water fish, fish oils, and leukotriene inhibitors, can help reduce seasonal allergies.
An increased intake of Omega 3 fatty acids decreases the production of inflammatory mediators – i.e. leukotrienes–which are intimately involved in allergic inflammation.
3. Eat Foods Rich in Natural Bioavonoids and Antioxidants
Vitamin C is most notably one of the best for helping with seasonal allergies. You can find it in citrus fruits, berries, dark leafy green vegetables and red or yellow bell peppers.
4. Remove Dairy and/or Gluten From Your Diet
Dairy and gluten are both irritants that cause inflammation. You can actually help reduce your seasonal allergies by avoiding both. Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin an elimination diet.
5. Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains catechins, which serve as natural antihistamines. This is a great drink to add into your day.
6. Take Supplements
Mast Cell Stabilization is the aim with these supplements, as it prevents degranulation and the release of histamine, which causes allergy symptoms. If possible, it’s best to begin taking herbal remedies and supplements before allergy symptoms are present. Here are three of the best:
- Quercetin—This is best used for prevention prior to allergy season, according to research from Tufts University. It’s superior to medication in inhibiting cytokine release from human mast cells. Take 500 mg, 1-3 times daily.
- Nettle Leaf (aka: Stinging Nettle)—freeze-dried nettle preparation is essential, as this preparation offers the benefits of antihistamine and mast cell stabilization. It’s safe for pregnant women. Take 300-350 mg of freeze-dried extract, 1-3 times daily.
- Butterbar/Petadolex—gets its name from a large size leaf that was used to wrap butter in! This provides effective and safe relief of hay fever and is now a first-line recommendation for prevention of allergy-triggered migraines. It’s as effective as Zyrtec, but with fewer side effects. Take 50-100 mg twice daily.
7. Use A Neti Pot For Nasal Irrigation
Using a Neti Pot can improve nasal symptoms and reduce the need for medication when you have seasonal allergies.
To do this you need:
- Salt, non-iodized
- Baking soda
- Distilled (or boiled) water
- Clean jar to store solution
- Neti Pot (these are inexpensive and found at most drug stores)
Pour 8 ounces of distilled water (or water that has been boiled for 10 minutes) over 1/4 teaspoon non-iodized salt and 1/8 teaspoon baking soda. Stir well until salt and soda have dissolved. Solution can be stored for up to 24 hours in a clean jar. Following the instructions included with your Neti Pot, use 1-4 times daily.
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