Warmer days have finally arrived, and fields of beautiful flowers are in bloom. Although they look delightful and picture perfect, for anyone with seasonal allergies, flowers at spring time could also smell oops spell trouble. Sneeze time is not pretty and hayfever is a common complaint of many as the calendar rolls around. The first signs of a seasonal allergy are usually a runny nose, red eyes, congestion, sneezing, bronchial irritation and itchy skin. This allergic reaction is generally an inflammatory response, so it’s important to consume a diet which is low in inflammatory foods and that means cutting down on sugar-filled and processed foods, pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables, caffeine, unhealthy fats and alcohol.
The most important foods to strengthen the mucus membranes of the respiratory system are dark-leafy greens, carrots and squashes. Seasonal vegetables which are cleansing, and detoxifying include onions, peas, leafy greens, radishes and asparagus. Pungent foods such as garlic and ginger help to open nasal passages and clear the head. It is also best to avoid wheat, dairy, chocolate and sugar as these foods are mucous forming and promote inflammation in the body.
Want to Get on Top of Allergies? Follow these three tips;
1. Avoid the potential allergen
2. Use nutrient rich whole foods to build the immune system
3. Ease the symptoms by using food as medicine
A great way to avoid a killer pollen attack is to keep your home free of pesky dust-bunnies, try hanging washing inside to dry so it does not collect pollens, and if it gets really bad you could think about installing an air filter. Having a sea salt and magnesium bath (1/3 cup of each) is another good way to relieve symptoms and reduce congestion and promote drainage of histamine, if you’re in the office splash water on your face. You’ll feel instant relief. Doubling your filtered water intake helps reduce mucous and hydrates tissues too.
If spring allergies have gotten you down and you want to relieve them naturally, the following remedies are nothing to be sneezed at and will give your immune system a boost and help ease allergy symptoms.
Turmeric and Ginger are anti-inflammatory and improve respiratory capacity. Ginger tea anyone?
Clear Mineral Rich Soups help thin mucus and clear nasal passages and strengthen immunity.
Vitamin C is a powerful detoxifier for the body; lowering blood histamine levels, and strengthening adrenal glands. For a Vitamin C boost try spring greens, kale, capsicum, broccoli, citrus fruits, and cabbage.
Zinc and Magnesium rich foods will benefit the immune system greatly as well as mitigate the acidity which accompanies an allergic reaction. Spinach, sunflower seeds and artichokes are good sources of magnesium and zinc rich foods include oysters, and crab.
Salmon will help to reduce inflammation in your nasal passages as it’s a fantastic anti-inflammatory due it’s omega-3 fatty acids. Remember that omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation so it’s best to stay clear of sunflower oil, corn oil, supermarket salad dressings and mayonnaise.