Habits and Remedies For Seasonal Allergies
Allergies can be more than just annoying; they can affect your quality of life. If you are experiencing allergies in the spring, fall, and maybe more allergic reactions such as to your cat or dog, it’s time to explore some holistic approaches to obtain relief without that drowsy, dopey feeling and other side effects medications often create.
Allergies are typically present in the form of allergic rhinitis, which is characterized by nasal congestion, a runny nose, sneezing, postnasal drip, and itchy eyes and nose. There are two primary classifications of Allergic rhinitis. The first is just seasonal, about 20% of people, and then there are chronic allergies, about 40% of people. The remaining 40% of individuals may suffer from both types of allergic reactions.1
Allergic reactions are irregular immune responses that occur in two phases, involving several immune mediators and cells.
The first phase is triggered by inhaling allergens triggering the immune response to occur. The immune response releases compounds including histamines that cause us to have a runny nose and to sneeze, which is our body’s way of expelling the irritant.
During the late phase response, which occurs four to six hours after allergen exposure, immune cells known as mast cells will release immune signaling proteins called cytokines. Cytokines stimulate white blood cells and other immune cells. This will trigger inflammation in the nasal cavity and the airways of the lungs. It will also increase mucus production causing a stuffy nose.2
Immune Support Through Nutrient-Dense Foods
Following the Mediterranean diet which incorporates a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables along with healthy fats can be beneficial. This combined with exercise has been shown to improve lung function and supports our body in what it needs to maintain good health.
It can be difficult to get enough of the nutrients the body needs to support good health and keep our immune function at its peak.3
Consuming highly pigmented fruits and vegetables, such as kale, spinach, multi-colored peppers, pomegranates, and more give the body the nutrients, phytochemicals, and antioxidants necessary to help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. 4
Spectrum Vibrance from Vibrant Health provides a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables which supports high antioxidant activity and phytonutrients that ensures the body’s immune system runs efficiently.
The Power of Medicinal Herbs
Many medicinal herbs possess anti-inflammatory properties which help support, protect, and enhance lung function and immunity.5
Curcumin was reported to have antiallergic properties with an inhibitory effect on histamine release from mast cells.6
Black seed oil has been proven to exhibit a significant reduction in all the markers of allergic inflammation. 7
Spirulina, blue-green algae, has been associated with improved allergy symptoms, including sneezing, nasal congestion, itchiness, and nasal discharge.
Quercetin provides antioxidant activity in radical scavenging and anti-allergic properties. Quercetin also stimulates the immune system, provides antiviral activity, inhibition of histamine release, and decreases pro-inflammatory cytokines, leukotrienes creation, and suppresses interleukin IL-4 production. 8
Medicinal mushrooms stimulate a variety of immune responses due to the high amount of beta-glucans they provide.
Propolis is a natural resinous substance produced by bees that have therapeutic effects of properties against allergic inflammation, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and food allergies. 9
Garlic stimulates the immune system and increases white blood cell counts, and reduces total inflammatory cell counts. 10
Camu Camu extract acts as a mast cell stabilizer and an antihistamine.11
Vitamin C from Vibrant Health contains wild harvest Camu Camu and many other immune support ingredients.
Zinc is crucial for the normal development and function of cells mediating nonspecific immunity such as neutrophils and natural killer cells.12
Vitamin D has been found to be protective against allergic rhinitis and to reduce the risk of airborne allergens. 13
Supporting Your Microbiome for Enhanced Immunity
A factor that can help prevent allergic reactions and sensitization to allergens is having a proper balance and diversity of microbiota in the gut, nasal passages, and on skin.14
You can support the health and diversity of your gut microbiota by eating a microbiome-friendly diet, minimizing antibiotic use whenever possible, having a pet, spending time with animals, and managing stress.15
Probiotics have been studied and found to have benefits for immune function and allergic rhinitis, and have the potential to alter immune responses through a variety of mechanisms. Lactobacillus paracasei has proven to be one of the more beneficial for the improvement of seasonal allergies. 16
How to Manage Inflammation
Lastly, it is important to touch on how chronic inflammation contributes to seasonal allergies. There are practices that have been proven to help manage chronic inflammation.17
- Follow an anti-inflammatory diet with fresh, nutrients dense food and avoid high-sugar and processed foods along with processed vegetable oils and trans fats.
- Know your food sensitivities.
- Support the health of your gastrointestinal tract.
- Get some form of exercise every day.
- Alleviate stress with relaxation practices.
- See your healthcare provider about hidden chronic infections, viruses, bacteria, yeast, parasite, mold, and other environmental allergens.
* If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.