Wrote by Stephanie Oswald Certified Health Coach (IIN, graduated 2014) and an Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
With spring here, allergy season has struck for many of us. Known as Allergic rhinitis, Hay fever or Seasonal allergies, it occurs during certain periods of the year when outdoor molds release spores and plants release pollen particles.
They can leave you feeling stuffed up, puffy and exhausted. Many of us reach for over the counter medications to help us cope with our symptoms, but these medications often make us drowsy or have unwanted side effects.
What exactly are allergies? Allergic reactions occur when a substance enters the body and the immune system marks it as an invader. When this happens, that substance becomes what’s known as an allergen. After the immune system mistakenly marks this harmless substance as an allergen, each time the body encounters it an allergic reaction is triggered. This allergic reaction triggers antibodies which trigger histamine and other chemical release. This can cause inflammation, coughing, tightening of the airways, itchy skin, hives and/or a runny congested nose.
Not to fret, there are many natural ways you can help support your body through allergy season for less dramatic reactions and some much-needed relief.
Eating a healthy whole foods diet containing a variety of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and adequate protein can help keep your body and immune system strong throughout allergy season.
When we have an allergic reaction, our body has an inflammatory response. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods can help take down this inflammation. Regularly consuming ginger, turmeric, berries, Omega-3 rich foods like fatty fish, broccoli, avocados, leafy green vegetables, beets and pineapple can help reduce inflammation.
Vitamin C acts as an anti-histamine, helping reduce and prevent allergic reaction. It is also a well-known antioxidant, helping to prevent cellular damage from free radicals and reducing the severity of allergic reactions. Citrus fruits, broccoli, papaya, kiwi, guava, red peppers and berries are all rich in Vitamin C.
Staying hydrated is essential for a healthy lymphatic system. Our lymphatic system is very important for our overall health and the strength of the immune system. Lymph fluid carries waste products and toxins out of the body. It can become over run and sluggish, especially when our bodies are being bombarded during allergy season. Making sure you stay nice and hydrated, drinking at least 8 glasses of filtered water a day can help keep your lymph fluid thin and aid in the ability to carry out waste.
As a preventative measure, consuming local harvested Honey can help expose you to minute amounts of the allergen (pollen) to help build up a resistance so when allergy season hits your body is ready for it. Many people find this helps reduce symptoms.
Cultured fermented foods contain good bacteria (probiotic cultures) to help nourish and colonize our gut microbiome. Our gut and gut microbiome have a strong connection to the health of our immune system. Be sure to consume a variety of probiotic rich foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, yogurt, kombucha and cultured vegetables daily. Prebiotic fiber also helps feed the good bacteria in our gut so be sure to include garlic, onions, leeks, bananas, oats, apples and asparagus in your diet.
Studies have shown that exercising just 30 minutes a day while suffering from allergies can help improve symptoms. Exercising reduces inflammation in the nasal passages, which helps clear blocked airways from allergies. Exercise also helps pump the lymphatic system which does not have a pump, aiding in the ability to carry out waste products.
Saline Nasal rinses can help clear the nasal pathways of allergen particles and congestion. This can bring some quick relief and can be used daily during allergy season. Eucalyptus steams can help loosen up mucous and open the lungs and sinuses. This helps improve circulation, increases airflow and reduces allergy symptoms.
Managing your stress is very important for a healthy robust immune system. Stress wears on the body, meditation, gentle yoga, breath work, walking in nature or engaging in a stress relieving activity like knitting or reading can help combat stress. It is also very important to make sure you are getting adequate sleep for rejuvenation throughout the allergy season, which can be very taxing on the body.
Land Art liquid Nettle can help relieve symptoms associated with allergies. It is even more effective taken 2-3 months leading up to allergy season for a reduction in allergic reaction. Much of the relief of allergy symptoms is due to Nettle anti-inflammatory benefits.
Vitamin C is water soluble, meaning we flush excess through the body instead of storing it for long periods in the body. The higher need during the allergy season can be hard to maintain through diet alone. Taking Land Art Liquid Vitamin C can help you make sure you are getting a therapeutic dosage of Vitamin C for the anti-histamine benefits.
Land Art Organic Mushroom extract can help bolster the immune system, aiding in relief of allergy symptoms. With continuous use, medicinal mushrooms help strengthen the immune system. Specifically, Reishi mushroom, one of the potent medicinal mushrooms contained within this blend, is well known for its ability to suppress inflammatory and allergic response in the body.
Allergy Ease Smoothie Recipe:
A delicious Nettle smoothie recipe with immune system supporting ingredients.
- 10 ml Land Art Nettles liquid
- 1 cup Coconut milk
- ½ cup frozen or fresh mango
- Half a banana
- 3-5 organic strawberries with the tops
- Half an orange peeled
- Handful spinach
- Half cup Coconut yogurt
- Small piece peeled ginger
- 1 scoop vanilla hemp protein powder (or whatever plain or vanilla protein powder you have available)
- Pinch of cinnamon.
1.Add liquid ingredients (coconut milk and nettles liquid) and coconut yogurt to your blender.
2.Add in order ginger, hemp protein, cinnamon, spinach, banana, mango, strawberries and orange.
3.Blend on high until well combined and smooth.