Natural Solutions for Seasonal Allergies
By Sarah Axtell, ND • March 21, 2013
In preparation for allergy season, follow theses guidelines below for a healthy immune response to allergens.
Increase your intake of flavonoids. Flavonoids are plant pigments that help to strengthen your mucous membranes and protect your body from oxidative damage. They are found in blueberries, cherries, cranberries, currants, and red raspberries. Aim for eating 2-3 of these foods a day. Quercetin is a flavonoid that inhibits the release of histamine from immune cells. In other words, it’s a natural anti-histamine. Quercetin can be taken preventatively before your allergies flare up. Good sources of quercetin are apples and onions.
Lessen inflammation. Allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, and bronchitis are all states of inflammation. To decrease your body’s burden, eliminate foods that inflame. Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and sugar, as well as dairy products can be highly inflammatory. Other inflammatory foods include wheat, citrus, corn, soy, and peanuts. Also, increasing your intake of essential fatty acids help fight inflammation. Sources of essential fatty acids include cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), walnuts, and flax seed. Fish oil supplements are also available as an alternative to eating fish.
Minimize exposure. Minimize mold and mildew in your house. Consider using air filters in your bedroom. Cleaning your carpets regularly with a HEPA vacuum can also minimize the total burden of allergic exposure.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.