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Our anti-allergy salad includes quercetin-rich apple, onion, parsley and broccoli sprouts combine with anthocyanins in blueberry and red onion, and omega-3 rich flaxseed and salmon to produce a potently anti-histamine meal for anyone suffering with seasonal allergies. For more information on combatting allergies naturally, read our blog here!
What natural steps can we take to reduce symptoms?
First of all, do what you reasonably can to reduce exposure within reasonable limits. This can involve using HEPA filters in the home, showering before bed or when you come in at the end of the day to remove pollen especially from your face and hair, washing bed clothes more frequently, and nasal irrigation with a neti pot.
Next, we can look at diet, since it has a direct effect on immune system function, and can directly affect levels of inflammation and histamine in our body. Oftentimes, allergic responses are exacerbated when the body is overloaded with triggers, and diet is an obvious place to start decreasing that burden. Not only that, our diet offers incredible opportunity to drive anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine activity in our body. Here’s what you can do:
- Eat a ‘clean’ diet as much as possible. This means reducing or avoiding pro-inflammatory foods, especially high sugar and refined foods and food additives. Choose organic where you can to reduce pesticide exposure. Try our anti-allergy tea here!
- Avoid trigger foods. For some individuals, seasonal allergies can be triggered or exacerbated by certain foods, especially dairy. You might consider a 6-week dairy elimination, or a full Elimination Diet, which removes a broader array of common food allergens. Follow this with a carefully-structured reintroduction of foods to identify culprits.
- Support a healthy intestinal barrier. A ‘leaky’ intestinal barrier is heavily implicated in immune-related disease including seasonal allergies. That Elimination Diet is a good start, along with probiotics, prebiotics, betaine HCl, enzymes, and gut-healing nutrients such as L-glutamine and zinc L-carnosine.
- Base your diet on anti-inflammatory foods. Include in your diet an abundance of colorful vegetables that are high in anti-inflammatory flavonoids and antioxidants. Use herbs and spices liberally, since their content of anti-inflammatory compounds is especially dense. Choose wild or grass-fed animal foods, for a more anti-inflammatory nutrient profile. Find dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as wild-caught salmon, flaxseed, or chia seed.
- Target specific anti-histamine foods. Specific foods also contain quercetin or anthocyanins, which have anti-histamine or mast-stabilizing properties. Quercetin-containing foods include apples, broccoli, citrus, fennel and red onion. Anthocyanin-containing foods include berries, cherries, grapes, red cabbage, red onion and wild rice. Anti-histamine properties are also found in parsley, thyme, turmeric, ginger, chamomile, nettle and Holy Basil (Tulsi).
- As importantly, get yourself properly hydrated. You should aim to consume about half your body weight (lbs) in fluid ounces, spread throughout the day. Proper hydration reduces the histamine response.