"Food is thy medicine and medicine is thy food."-Hippocrates
We all have heard about how to eat when you are sick. Many families have their own traditions of what to eat when we are under the weather; eat oranges to get plenty of vitamin C, fiil up on home made chicken soup, get plenty of liquids. But did you know that the right nutrition can also help you if you suffer from seasonal allergies? Does the sight of this field filled with pollen make your eyes start to itch? I have some tips for you that can help keep you comfortable during allergy season.
For some of us, pollen from various types of plants triggers an allergic response in the body. Exposure to these elements causes a histamine response, triggering runny nose, itchy throat and itchy watery eyes. For those of you who dont suffer from this, count your blessings! For some it is a minor annoyance but for others it means staying indoors until the pollen storm passes. No matter what your degree of suffering, there are steps you can take to minimize this histamine response in the body. Here are my top 10:
- Use a Nettie pot daily. Rinsing the nasal passages with clean water helps to rinse allergens from the sinuses and with regular use, can provide relief for even the worst symptoms.
- Eat organic produce. Pesticides on fruits and vegetables can worsen histamine response.
- Eat wild salmon. Due to its Omega-3 content, wild salmon is a great anti-inflammatory food
- Enjoy nettle tea or tincture. Nettle is a natural anti-histamine that can be taken throughout the day for allergy relief.
- Try celery juice for an acute reaction. If you are having an acute allergic reaction juice some fresh celery (enough for about 6 oz of juice). Its flavor is strong but so are its medicinal properties.
- Avoid inflammatory foods. Dairy, gluten, corn, soy and processed sugar all fall into this category. Avoiding these foods during allergy season can help alleviate your symptoms.
- Eat local honey. Bees that make honey from local plants provide the body with a sort of vaccination against allergens. For best results, start consuming honey several weeks before allergy season begins.
- Avoid wine during allergy season. Wine contains sulfites, which has been shown to increase histamine response in allergy sufferers.
- Eat Indian curry. Dishes such as Indian curry that include ginger, garlic, onions, as well as tumeric and black pepper are great anti-inflammatory dishes.
- Take probiotics daily. 80% of the immune system resides in the gut and ensuring healthy gut bacteria is an effective way to strengthen the immune system.
All of these recommendations will support overall health and wellness too. Sticking with these practices all year round will help the body fight whatever comes its way. Good nutrition truly is nature's best medicine.