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Spring is a beautiful time of year; you can finally get back outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. Unless you suffer from seasonal allergies or hay fever. If you’re a sufferer of seasonal allergies, springtime isn’t something you look forward to. Maybe you even dread it.
That’s because seasonal allergies – which can run from spring through fall – can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms including:
And evidence suggests that a longer allergy season may be one of the results of climate change leading to a worsening of symptoms. To find relief, many people simply stay indoors or take antihistamines, which can cause fatigue, dizziness, and dry mouth.
But you don’t have to surrender outdoor time to seasonal allergies. Here’s a three-step guide to reducing seasonal allergy symptoms naturally.
Simply put, seasonal allergies are a result of your body’s immune system thinking that pollen is a threat. Your body releases histamines in response to the pollen and this causes the symptoms.
Since seasonal allergies are caused by your immune system going haywire, anything that compromises your immune system can make things worse. This includes things like:
It may sound like a lot, so just try working on these items one at a time and observe how it helps. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.
While cutting out some of the factors that may be worsening your seasonal allergies, consider some natural remedies that can provide relief.
Over the past several years, scientists have extensively studied the blue-green alga spirulina for its impressive list of health benefits, including its ability to combat seasonal allergies.
In fact, one animal study found that spirulina has a dose-dependent relationship with histamine in the body (1). This means spirulina may help inhibit the release of histamine and alleviate allergic reactions. Look for organic spirulina in a green juice powder.
When the bacteria in your gut are out of balance, it can result in an immune system that doesn’t work as it should (2). Probiotics can help balance out your gut bacteria by resupplying your gut with healthy bacteria.
While studies using probiotics are still in their early stages, evidence suggests that probiotics can be an effective treatment for seasonal allergies (3).
Zinc is an essential mineral for proper immune function. Unsurprisingly, a growing body of evidence suggests that if you are deficient in zinc it can worsen seasonal allergies. If you have enough zinc, it can make your seasonal allergies better (4).
To get more of this vital mineral in your diet, eat zinc-rich plants such as chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, spinach, and mushrooms.
While this plant is infamous for the stinging pain it causes when it makes contact with your skin, it’s an herb with many benefits. Evidence suggests that stinging nettle has anti-inflammatory effects and several other properties associated with allergic reactions in the body (5).
One study conducted by the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, for example, found that stinging nettle was effective for the management of seasonal allergies (6).
By supporting your immune system with anti-inflammatory foods, you can improve how your immune system reacts to pollen. Ideally, this will improve your symptoms.
Mushrooms are one of the best superfoods for regulating your immune system. This includes mushrooms like turkey tail, tremella, maitake, shiitake, and cordyceps.
Shiitake mushrooms, for example, can improve the efficiency of the immune system, improve gut immunity, and even decrease inflammation (7). All of which are important for the management of seasonal allergies.
Just like pro-inflammatory foods can worsen the symptoms of your seasonal allergies, anti-inflammatory foods can improve the symptoms.
That’s because inflammation plays a role in seasonal allergy symptoms, especially headaches or sinus pressure (8). Adding more anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce chronic low-level inflammation. These include:
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know how tough they are to deal with. It’s why most people resort to antihistamines or allergy meds. The problem is, these medications can make you feel drowsy, dizzy, and experience dry mouth. Not exactly the best things if you want to have a productive day.