Tips on how to relieve those annoying seasonal allergies and how to stay healthy this fall.
When people think of allergies, they often relate them to springtime and an increase in pollens floating around the air. It's important to keep in mind that allergies can happen at anytime of the year, and especially when there's a change in seasons, you may find yourself sneezing more than you would like.
Allergies affect more than 35 million Americans each year and cost the economy 7 billion in lost productivity. Most importantly, they affect your well-being and daily enjoyment of life. It's time to fight back against these nasty allergies by giving your body the correct nutritional support it needs.
Here are some tips to keep you healthy from irritating ragweed pollens and mold from fallen leaves going into the fall.
Drink Hot Fluids
Increasing the amount of fluids you intake helps to thin out the mucus built up in nasal passages. Generally, the better hydrated you are, the better allergens will be diluted in your cells and minimize the histamine effect. Drinking hot fluids, such as tea, have the added benefit of steam and how well it helps to break up congestion.
Our Herbal Papaya Leaf Teas help boost immunity and aid in breaking up those blocked nasal passages.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In some studies, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help with allergies. Foods that are high in omega-3s include salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, herring, walnuts, flaxseed oil, and canola oil.
Vitamin C is known for its many health benefits. Focus on foods that are part of the crucifer plant family and have not only a high incidence of vitamin C, but are also known to help with blocked sinuses.
Vegetables such a broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, fit into the crucifer family and have vitamin C. Other great foods that have vitamin C include red peppers, strawberries, papayas, and tomatoes.
Carotenoids & Vitamin A
Vitamin A has been known to help boost the immune system. Carotenoids are the flavonoids that are thought to help with certain allergic symptoms.
Kale not only has vitamin C, but also carotenoids and vitamin A, and pumpkins are another great form of vitamin A. Cartenoids are found in foods such as apricots, carrots, collard greens, eggs yolks, salmon, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
Foods to Avoid
It's best to avoid foods such as dairy products that increase the production of mucus in the sinuses.
If you tend to be allergic to grass pollens, think about excluding oranges, tomatoes, melons, and figs during the times of the year when pollens are at their highest.
If you're allergic to weed pollens, avoiding bananas, cantaloupes, cucumbers, melons, zucchini, artichoke and Echinacea, chamomile and hibiscus teas is recommended to help symptoms.
Apples, cherries, peaches, pears, celery, parsley, almonds, and hazelnut can also have a cross-reaction and cause an increase in allergy symptoms, depending on the type of allergies you have.
If you don't want to take out these foods from your diet completely, think about cooking them instead of eating them fresh or raw. Oftentimes the same allergic reaction is quelled when these foods are cooked.
The Importance of Fitness
Avoiding allergies or reducing their symptoms is connected to your immune system and keeping it healthy and working properly. Besides drinking fluids and getting enough sleep, daily fitness is another great way to keep your immunity up and your body strong.
If you like to exercise outside, try to avoid times of the day when pollen levels are high, and bundle up with a scarf over your mouth and nose if it's cold to help warm the air before it gets to your lungs. This also helps to block pollens and other irritants from getting into your system.
- If you're turning on your heater for the first time since last winter, make sure to clean out the vents or change the filter to reduce the amount of dust and mold in the air.
- Keep your windows and doors closed during the peak pollen times of the day, usually in the morning.
- Invest in a dehumidifier or install a special filter in your heater and/or air conditioning that gets rid of pollen, dust, mold and other irritable particles.
- Wear a mask when doing yard work, especially when raking leaves or mowing the lawn. If you know you're sensitive to allergens, wear a mask while you vacuum as well.
- Leave your shoes at the door to prevent tracking dust and pollen particles through the house.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco products. Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate and could make allergy symptoms worse, and tobacco smoke can be harmful to itchy eyes and sore throats.
- There have been some studies that suggest acupuncture reduces stress hormones and can help with allergy symptoms.
- Go to the doctors to get an allergy test and find out what type of allergens your body is sensitive to. Focus on avoiding contact with those allergens specifically, instead of cutting out everything you could be allergic to.