Seasonal allergies can really be a burden. In fact, they can halt your life altogether if they get bad enough. Between the sniffling, sneezing, and swollen feel of your face, you're downright miserable. And, if you're prone to taking on these attacks when the seasons change, chances are, you're getting ready to head into another season of discomfort and undue stress. So, how do you combat allergies in a way that can make you feel whole again? Let's take a look!
1. Use Probiotics
Probiotics modify the intestinal flora in your belly, which support the immune system. When they're working at their best, they can alter the natural course of allergic reactions. Certain foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, call upon the fermentation process to create good bacteria that help ward off bad things that can make you feel ill. You can also get a healthy dose of probiotics through oral vitamins, which is particularly great if you're averse to stinky fermented foods.
2. Up Your Dose of Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be tricky for people who experience allergies. It's easy to get it when you're in the sun, but if you're a seasonal allergy sufferer, you might not want to play in the park when the pollen counts are at their highest. If this sounds like you, consider taking a vitamin D supplement to give your body the nutrients it needs to ward off allergy symptoms.
Vitamin D helps bolster the immune system, including the parts of the body that combat allergic reactions.
3. Equip Your Body with Quercetin
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It's found in red wine, grapefruit, black tea, and vitamin supplements. [2,3] It tends to inhibit the growth of histamines (the things that make you sneeze and have a stuffy nose when allergy season rolls around). Studies have shown that quercetin blocks substances that cause allergic reactions, thereby reducing allergy symptoms.
4. Set Your Nose Up with a Saltwater Solution
Irrigate your nasal passages with a simple saltwater rinse to help clear out the pollen and irritants that can cause you to feel less-than-great during allergy season. Sure, there are commercial saline nasal sprays you could use, but those don't necessarily work as well as the irrigation process.
5. Try a Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is a plant that's named for the prickly hairs that grow on its leaves and stems. This plant is known to have histamine blockers that keep immune cells from releasing chemicals that trigger allergic reactions and allergy symptoms.
6. Get a Bit of Butterbur
Butterbur is an anti-inflammatory herb that's known to slow the signs of allergy symptoms. It's a shrub that grows in Europe and parts of Asia and North America, from which vital nutrients from the roots, underground stem, and leaves are extracted to help allergy sufferers around the world. Raw, unprocessed butterbur can be bad for your body; it's essential only to use products that have been processed to remove the chemical called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). Be sure to check the labels of any butterbur you're considering purchasing to ensure it's certified as a PA-free product.
7. Close Your Windows
That crispy night air might feel good on your face, but your nasal passages will hate you in the morning. If you're a seasonal allergy sufferer, close your windows and turn on the air conditioning. Of course, it's important to ensure that all your filters have been cleaned or replaced recently, so you're not recycling allergens throughout the air in your own home.
8. Get On Board with Astragalus Root
Astragalus is an herb that's long been used in traditional Chinese medicine. It's been shown to help humans' immune systems while simultaneously reducing inflammation. If you have the typical seasonal allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, or itching, the anti-inflammatory properties in astragalus might provide you with some relief. It's also been shown to alleviate fatigue, which can be extremely helpful for allergy sufferers who feel run down as a result of their symptoms.
9. See Your Doctor
If natural remedies and over-the-counter concoctions aren't doing it for you, there's no reason to get through the season in misery. Your doctor might be able to prescribe medication that can take away the pain and discomfort. He or she might also suggest other more natural allergy remedies, such as acupuncture, to help get your body back into good working order.
Whether you're a regular seasonal allergy sufferer—or if this year caught you by surprise—Vital Nutrients is here to help. Shop our assortment of body-loving vitamins today!