Approximately a third of us worldwide suffer from seasonal allergies, reports the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. And while seasonal allergies are your immune system’s response to harmless substances like dust or pollen, allergies are nothing to sneeze at. Over time, your reactions to these allergens can become more and more extreme. If you want to beat springtime allergies, try these natural strategies.
Springtime Allergies and Your Immune System
There are many common allergens out there, such as pollen, feathers and even ordinary dust. Unfortunately, for some people, their immune system treats these harmless things as a dangerous attack.
“Most allergic reactions happen when the immune system reacts to a false alarm,” reports the University of Rochester’s Medical Center. “Normally the immune system attacks harmful things such as viruses or bacteria. But sometimes it overreacts and responds to things that are normally harmless. These include dust, mold, pollen, or food.”
Over time, your allergic reactions can become more and more extreme, and in some people, allergies even require hospitalization. But even if your allergies aren’t that severe, the symptoms can often ruin an otherwise good day, force you to take time off of work, etc. Plus, that chronic inflammation and overreaction can weaken your immune system and your overall health.
But over-the-counter allergy medications aren’t your only option. Nature offers many remedies in her anti-allergy arsenal that you can try today.
Natural Ways to Combat Springtime Allergies
1. Support Your Body With Natural Vitamins
A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine followed the diets of thousands of people and found that higher intakes of vitamin C were related with stronger lung health.
Another study found that taking 2 grams of vitamin C a day worked as a natural antihistamine (antihistamines help block histamine, a type of protein that triggers sneezing, sore throats and other common symptoms of springtime allergies).
Citrus fruits are one of the healthiest whole food sources of vitamin C. Other great sources of vitamin C include red peppers, tomatoes and broccoli.
Zinc is also important. A meta-analysis of 62 different studies found that zinc was associated with lower cases of both allergies and asthma. Whole grains, red meat, beans and dairy are all great sources of zinc. You’ll also find 650 mcg of zinc in every dose of BioPro-Plus 500, a natural supplement that can help support your immune system’s strength during allergy season.
2. Try Herbal Remedies
Stinging nettle, often used in cooking or in herbal teas, has been shown in some limited research to act as a natural antihistamine. Butterbur, which is closely related to the daisy flower and is commonly grown in Asia and in Europe, may also help minimize allergy symptoms, specifically with hay fever.
3. Boost Gut Health
Your gut health, and specifically the microorganisms that live in your gut, are closely linked with your immune health. While more research needs to be done, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that probiotics may help with springtime allergies by supporting your immune system health.
Proven methods of enhancing gut health include:
- Eating more fiber
- Enjoying fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut
- Reducing your intake of alcohol and sugar
- Taking a probiotic supplement
4. Rinse Your Sinuses
It’s impossible to fully avoid exposure to allergy triggers. No matter how many air filters you use, or how much time you spend indoors, you’re surrounded by potential triggers. And trying to limit your exposure can actually make your immune system’s response even more exaggerated the next time you encounter the specific trigger.
Instead, try a sinus rinse. A sinus rinse flushes your nasal passages with either sterile fresh water or sterile saline water. It flushes out any allergens in there, such as dust or pollen, and it also helps lubricate your nasal passages and strengthen your mucus membranes, which further bolsters your immune system strength.
Finally, because all allergies are closely intertwined with your immune system health, do everything you can to support your immunity, such as:
- Taking supplements like BioPro-Plus 500
- Exercising regularly
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating a balanced diet
- Drinking lots of water
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