Aaaaachooo, sniffle, sniffle, bloooowwww (sound like you?)
by Jennifer Kaster, ND
Is this what spring sounds like for you?
As the season of spring begins, the extra hours of sunshine and warm weather are beckoning us to come out doors. Unfortunately, for many, the sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes keep us locked up inside at this time of year.
Environmental allergies are caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to a normally harmless substance. An allergic reaction happens when cells of the immune system react to an allergen as if the substance were disease causing. The immune system responds to the allergen by releasing histamine. Histamine plays several important roles in the body, but too much of it results in inflammation, which leads to the all too familiar allergy symptoms – sneezing, congestion, watery eyes and rashes.
There are natural ways to reduce the immune response your body is mounting as well as reducing the histamine levels.
My favourite place to start the healing process is always with the foods we eat. Here are some great foods to add into your daily diet to help reduce your seasonal allergies.
This tropical fruit is LOADED with Vitamin C as well as bromelain. Bromelain stimulates the production and release of anti-inflammatory components in the blood and it also helps the body absorb quercetin more efficiently. Quercetin is a powerful anti-oxidant that reduces the production of histamine resulting in a reduction in allergy symptoms.
This blue-green algae contains an astounding array of nutrients. It’s the only green food rich in the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA has been shown to inhibit the formation of inflammation in the body and it is a contributing factor in spirulina’s ability to reduce allergies by reducing the levels of IgE, a marker for high allergy sensitivity in the body. Studies have shown the daily use of spirulina inhibited allergic reactions by blocking the release of histamine.
Sprulina is commonly sold as a powder and can easily be taken by adding it to water, fruit juice or right into your smoothie.
The gel contained within the leaves of the aloe vera plant inhibits the production of inflammation in the body and reduces allergic symptoms by blocking the release of histamine.
If you don’t have an aloe plant at home to harvest the gel from you can buy it bottled at our clinic. Aloe’s mild taste allows it to be easily added to any drink. Try this Aloe GI Support Smoothie.
This little seed is loaded with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. They also are a great source of the healthy fat – Omega-3, which is an essential fatty acid that we can only get from our food. The body can’t make this fatty acid on it’s own. Along with providing many health benefits for the brain, skin and hair this fatty acid also helps to alleviate allergies by reducing inflammatory chemicals in the body.
Chia seeds are a great addition to your hot cereal, on top of salads or mixed into your yogurt. Or try this Chia Pudding.
Many people experience benefits by including natural supplements for allergies in combination with improving liver and adrenal function. Your naturopathic doctor will be able to help guide you with the proper supplementation.
Not sure if you watery eys or sniffles are due to food or environmental allergies? Consider getting tested using Electrodermal Screening.
Don’t have an Naturopathic Doctor? Let us, here at Balance Point, help you achieve wellness the natural way.
Call our clinic today to book your initial naturopathic appointment! 289-291-0254