If you experience seasonal allergies, then you are likely bounded by the discommodious symptoms most commonly encountered such as sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, and foggy thinking. April is generally the start of seasonal allergies; however, with uncharacteristically warm temperatures around the country and early detection of pollen in the trees, many allergy suffers have prematurely succumb to the familiar discomforts.
With copious remedies on the market ranging from over-the-counter drugs to neti pots, there are numerous ways people can alleviate the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Typically symptoms are the body’s reactions to allergens such as pollen and mold produced most heavily in the Spring and Fall. Dr. Thomas Cowan, board member of the Weston Price Foundation, elaboratess on the understanding of seasonal allergies by explaining that allergies arise when there is an adrenal gland imbalance. He adds that when our adrenal glands (which are responsible for mediating our inflammatory response to irritants) are weakened by imbalance, our bodies become inflamed with a variety of symptoms. To counter this reaction, we must take the steps to strengthen our adrenal glands and our overall immune systems.
In addition to countless medical remedies, proponents of nutritional health suggest that seasonal allergy symptoms can be alleviated through healing foods. At Whole Health MD, integrative health specialists offer advice on fortifying the immune system through diet. In their “healing kitchen”, these specialists suggest that seasonal allergy sufferers should infuse their diets with foods rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, magnesium, and quercetin. Along with strengthening the immune system, each of these nutrients act as natural anti-histamines and reduce the respiratory and bronchial irritation common with seasonal allergies.
While these nutrients can be ingested in pill form, they can also easily be found in a number of foods incorporated in a daily diet. For example, foods rich in vitamin C such as red cabbage, strawberries, citrus, and red peppers all strengthen the immune system. Beta-carotene rich foods such as carrots, kale, and mustard greens convert to vitamin A, which then strengthens respiratory health. Foods rich in magnesium such as avocado, barley, quinoa, almonds, and chocolate relieve constricted airways in the lungs and reduce bronchial discomfort. Lastly, there are foods that contain the natural plant-based allergy remedy, quercetin. These foods include: green cabbage, garlic, apples, grapes, spinach, pears, and onions. In addition to filling our plates with immune stimulating foods, nutritionists may also prescribe a Low Allergy Diet replete with dietary prescriptions for eating frequency or foods to avoid when managing allergies.
In the end, the approach you use to treat your seasonal allergies is a personal choice. Medicine, food, or a combination of the two can be used to alleviate your suffering. It is a matter of trying different solutions to see what is right for you.
*top image from ABC News
*Sneezing cartoon image from Richmond Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine in VA
*Healing Vegetable picture from What Time is O’Clock
* Berry image from Healing Food Therapy