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Fighting Allergies Naturally

Janis Covey

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Here comes the warm weather!  But with the increase in temperatures comes an increase in pollen, and therefore, seasonal allergies.  There are numerous medications on the market, such as anti-histamines, to deal with the symptoms, but they come with a slew of side effects.  These can include dehydration, sleepiness and constipation.  There are several ways to relieve allergy symptoms before you need to reach for that medication.

Shower before Bed:  Think of your hair as a sponge.  It is absorbing pollen, dust and other allergens all day.  When you lay your head on your pillow, you transfer those allergens to it, and then as you sleep and turn, you are inhaling them.  Have you ever woken up stuffy with swollen allergy eyes?  This is probably why.

Avoid Fragrances:  We aren’t just talking about perfume but any product containing synthetic fragrance.  The term fragrance on a label is a catch-all.  Fragrances can be made up of thousands of different chemicals and many of them are known allergens.  Instead, reach for products that are unscented or scented with essential oils.

Avoid Spicy Foods:  Spicy foods activate the immune system.  Opting for a blander diet will prevent immune activation.

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Foods to Avoid: Tomatoes, I know this is hard to hear.  Tomatoes are a summer staple, but tomatoes contain histamines, and histamines trigger an allergic response.  Another food to avoid is dairy.  Dairy thickens mucus and makes it harder to clear.  We all hear how bad sugar is for us.  Unfortunately, sugar can be added to the list of foods to avoid, because it also worsens allergies.  Sugar causes inflammation which is an important player in the allergic response.  Decreasing the body’s inflammation helps keep allergies in check.

Drink Green Tea:  Japanese researchers found that EGCG, the abundant anti-oxidant compound in green tea, helps stop your body from mounting an immune response to a variety of allergens including pollen, dust, pet dander and dust.

Eat Onions, Peppers, Berries and Parsley:  All these foods are high in quercetin.  Quercetin is a natural compound found to reduce histamine reactions.  Histamines are a major player in the body’s allergic response.

Eat Pineapple:  Pineapple contains the anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain.  Bromelain thins mucus and makes it easier to clear.  There are some studies showing that pineapple is as effective as over the counter cough suppressants and mucolytics.

Add Turmeric:  Turmeric contains quercetin which helps reduce the body’s response to histamine.  It also contains curcumin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Have any other tips for naturally fighting allergy season?  Let us know in the comments.