It’s allergy season and we’ve got some natural remedies for you to try. Image by Adobe Stock.
Allergies can happen year-round, but especially in spring – when wind-blown pollen is in the air. Depending on the area you live in, such as near a forest or the type of plant you are allergic to, for some people, allergies can be quite severe. For most allergy-sufferers, over the counter medication is the immediate go-to, but these can stop working over time and prolonged use may not be that great for your health. Seasonal allergies account for about 1 in 3 of New Zealand’s population and we have discovered that changing certain parts of your lifestyle can contribute to helping avoid allergic reactions. Here are five natural remedies for seasonal allergies.
Check your gut health
Your gut health, or microbiome is responsible for immune response in the body. During allergy season, your immune system reacts to something it thinks is harmful, therefore giving you an allergic reaction such as sneezing, itchy eyes or a rash. What determines one persons reaction to another is their microbiome. Each person’s gut is different and unique and is constantly changing over time, with factors such as alcohol, antibiotics, stress and gut-irritating foods having the ability to change the way your gut works and when your gut changes, your immune system is working over time to compensate for these changes, leaving you susceptible to an allergy-driven allergic reaction.
Invest in an air filter
Did you know that the air in your home is often more contaminated than the air outside!? Investing in a high quality HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter will help to remove any harmful particles floating around in the air and pollen that may have come inside from open doors and windows or attached itself onto your clothes and shoes.
Avoid high histamine foods
As part of our immune response, histamines are released into our bodies and over the counter medications such as antihistamines can help to calm that reaction. Some foods are also high in histamines, so if your body is overloaded from histamines from pollen and if you are eating a lot of high histamine foods, you can overload your system and make the reaction bigger. Some high histamine foods are: aged cheese, wine, kombucha, canned seafood, cured meats, bananas, citrus and spinach – just to name a few.
Alcohol can be a big contributor to an unhealthy gut and as we have previously learned, an unhealthy gut can push your bodies response to an allergic reaction. Just like foods, high-histamine alcohol such as wine can contribute to an overload of your system.
Try immunity-boosting supplements
Certain supplements are designed to boost the immune system, helping to counteract allergic responses. Two of the best supplements you can take for boosting your immune system are Bromelain – which is an enzyme derived from pineapple and even though pineapple is classed as a “high-histamine” food, the enzyme can actually help to reduce inflammation. The second supplement is Quercetin, which is a flavanoid known for it’s antioxidant properties, antioxidants can help with oxidative stress – which can occur during an allergy flare-up.