By Michele McRae, MS, CN
April showers bring May flowers – and seasonal allergies for the approximately 40 million Americans who suffer from them. While there is no “cure” for allergies, Rainbow Light’s Michele McRae provides some useful tips to help avoid or reduce common discomforts such as a runny nose, itchy eyes and skin, and swelling that are associated with allergy season.
5 Tips for Beating Allergies
- Take probiotics to strengthen immunity overall and to address inflammation
- Vitamin C and quercetin both bolster immunity. Quercetin is an antioxidant that addresses common allergy discomforts such as a runny nose, itchy eyes and swelling
- The plant enzyme bromelain, when taken between meals, enhances the body’s anti-inflammatory response and may enhance quercetin activity
- Get plenty of sleep and reduce stress to help keep hormones and cortisol in balance. When they are imbalanced, this can exacerbate the allergic response
- Try to avoid going outdoors when pollen exposure is at peak. Pollen counts are usually highest in the morning, lowest at night, and windy days are the worst
- Keep windows closed and, if possible, use the air conditioner in the house and/or car. A humidifier may help remove some of the allergens out of the air
- Regularly wash your hands and face to remove pollen
Top 5 Allergy Fighting Foods
- Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from cold water fish, algae sources, and supplements help decrease inflammation
- Drink hot tea with lemon and honey first thing in the morning, this activates nasal cilia and helps clear allergens from passageways. Black and green tea are very high in quercetin; other foods high in quercetin are apples and onions (especially red onion)
- Choose high antioxidant vitamin C fruits and vegetables that may strengthen immune health and reduce allergic sensitivity, such as kiwi, strawberries, acerola cherry, brussels sprouts and dark leafy greens.
- Red grapes are naturally high in antioxidants, polyphenols and resveratrol, which is a powerful antioxidant and addresses inflammation
- Avoid gluten, dairy and other common food allergens; once the body is coping with allergens this can increase cross-sensitivity to other allergens including food allergens