More than one in six Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies and some people have symptoms from March to November. If you are one of those people, and you are looking for natural solutions, here is some information for you!
Seasonal allergies and the immune system
Have you ever thought that your seasonal allergies might be caused by a malfunction in your immune system? Your overactive and overstimulated immune system then becomes hypersensitive to seasonal allergens (pollen, ragweed etc.) and the response would manifest itself in symptoms like congestion, coughing, itchy eyes and sneezing.
When the immune system is irritated, it reacts to everything – much like when you're not sleeping, everything makes you more irritable!
Your immune system could be on high alert due to chronic inflammation: food, or something, is attacking it. As you probably know, your gut plays an important role in immune system he alth. In fact, nearly 80% of your systemimmune system is located in your gut. It is the place that interacts with the outside world, absorbing nutrients from food and ensuring that bacteria and pathogens stay out.
One of the keys to helping seasonal allergies is to calm this inflammation in order to restore balance to your immune system.
Here are the three steps I use to help restore gut he alth and immune he alth.
1. Go on an elimination diet
Remove a number of toxic and inflammatory foods from your diet for a few weeks. Then add them one at a time to see which ones cause an inflammatory response.
- Eliminate common toxic triggers like wheat, corn, dairy, soy, sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. You can also remove eggs and nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers).
- Eat whole foods rich in phytonutrients and fiber. Avoid anything that contains sugar or trans fats. Focus on eating he althy fats like extra virgin olive oil, nuts, avocados, and omega-3s found in small fish (sardines, herring, mackerel, wild salmon).
2. Fix your gut
To reduce inflammation and balance the immune system, you must repair the membrane of your intestine.
Use powerful nutrients for theintestinal healing such as glutamine, zinc, curcumin and fish oil. Don't forget probiotics, which provide good bacteria to improve digestion and reduce inflammation
3. Adopt he althy lifestyle habits
- Have good management of your stress. Stress can really damage your gut and make seasonal allergies worse. Practice relaxation techniques like yoga, heart coherence, and meditation.
- Sleep 8 hours of deep, restorative sleep. Optimal sleep is crucial for gut he alth and overall he alth. Research shows that inadequate sleep increases inflammation. To help your sleep, check out 19 tips for better sleep.
While you heal your gut, optimize your diet, and restore balance to your immune system, you can relieve your seasonal allergy symptoms naturally with a supplement that contains quercetin (to regulate hyperactive allergy responses histamine), nettle (which stops your body from producing inflammatory chemicals), vitamin C and tinospora cordifolia (this is an Ayurvedic herb to modulate the immune system).
By optimizing your diet and repairing your gut, your seasonal allergies may decrease…or disappear! If necessary, seek the help of a certified naturopath to accompany you inthis approach.
Wishing you a great and he althy season!