3 Natural Ways To Improve Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies? Frustrating aren't they? But did you know that there are functional medicine approaches that can help with this and just give you some relief? And we're going to talk about three of those natural ways to improve seasonal allergies today.
So when somebody is struggling with seasonal allergies, they're usually having symptoms such as runny eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and itching. It can even be contributing to sleep issues, anxiety, and more, and the causes and reasons vary. Of course, environmental, which is why you might realize it gets worse at certain times of the years versus others.
And something interesting about that is that if you're having a seasonal allergy to ragweed, this is growing quicker, flowering sooner, and it's, there's a sort of a greenhouse effect causing this to happen. So if people, and if you hear more and more people getting bothered by seasonal allergies, this could be one of the reasons.
Also, food can contribute. And this is one of the things we're going to talk about today because it's like the boiling pot effect. If you have too many histamines in your body, boils over, and you're going to start to get symptoms.
So then we have to ask, alright, we're getting all these seasonal allergies from the environment. So how can we modify our food and modify our lifestyle to help decrease our histamine levels so that we don't have that boiling pot effect where you start to get the symptoms?
And the three things that we're going to talk about today are mostly nutrition related. And I just can't wait to share it with you. So if you know of anybody struggling, please forward this video.
I'm Ashley Oswald. I'm a functional medicine dietitian and the founder of Oswald Digestive Clinic, where we help people improve and eliminate bothersome issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and more. And if you or somebody, you know, wants to be a client that our clinic, you can get started by scheduling an appointment at our clinic. So let's dive right in and talk about the 3 natural ways to decrease symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Three Natural ways to Decrease Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
Increase your intake of foods that help neutralize histamines
So the number one way is to increase your intake of foods that help to neutralize histamines so stinging nettle tea is one of these foods, and this is what I've seen circulating more on the internet, which is really awesome. And I actually have a box in my house to look for if and when we need it. So it's really super easy.
It's easy to travel with. Stinging nettle tea, and then foods like turmeric and garlic and ginger and capers, pea sprouts, and rice bran can all help to neutralize histamines. Again, histamine is what you want to decrease in the body from the food. Cause you're going to be getting it from the environment from the seasonal allergies to prevent you from having symptoms from preventing you from having too many histamine-causing symptoms.
The goal isn't to totally get rid of histamines, but we just need a decrease it enough that you're not getting negative symptoms from it. Also, high quercetin foods help with this. And this includes things like apples and onions, blueberries, parsley, and olive oil.
Decrease High Histamine Food
Number two would be to decrease high histamine foods. So number one increases foods that are neutrally, and number two decreases high histamine foods. So high histamine foods are things that actually are encouraged for gut health like fermented foods or fermented vegetables. So this is something that it goes to show, you know, personalized nutrition.
So for one person, those fermented foods are going to be great because it's going to probably help to balance their gut bacteria in a positive way for them. But somebody struggling with seasonal allergies should actually remove them from their eating, to decrease their histamine burden. And so as you might have guessed, food that's sitting along for longer like fermented foods, you're fermenting it over the course of many days or several weeks.
So a long period of time, and that's where higher histamine comes in. So the first thing you could do is to eat food as fresh as possible. If you can buy it from the farmer's market, ultimately just eat as fresh as possible.
If you're batch cooking, use it right away, don't let it sit in the fridge. And this should be an easy first step that you can do prior to starting to cut out foods. And then also I want to note that some days you might find that you tolerate food and don't get like this extreme itching, other days you don't.
And this is because there are a lot of variables. As mentioned, you know, the environmental variables are there a change as far as how much you're getting exposed from the environment. Stressors, emotional stress, and physical stress can all play into this, and hormone changes, exercise, and sleep can even all play into this.
So there are a lot of moving parts here, which is why you might tolerate a high histamine food one day, not the next day, but ultimately if you can eat food as fresh as possible, and then just decrease in general, your amount of high histamine foods like those fermented foods, the aged foods, citrus foods, nuts, like sausages, sauerkraut as mentioned, that's like the fermented veggies, spinach, canned fish, chocolate, bacon, sausage, and pepperoni, all of that is going to be considered high histamine. So decrease your intake.
Use supplements to help with your body's ability to break down Histamines
Number three is that you can use supplements to help with your body's ability to break down histamines. Now, this is not medical advice. If you want personalized advice, you should become a client at our clinic, but I'm just going to give you some examples of supplements that can help to do this.
The first one is DAO, and this is actually an enzyme that we have all in our guts, some people more than other people. And so if you're low in DAO, this enzyme, then supplementing with it at meals could significantly help you as in significantly decrease the symptoms you experience.
The next one is the B vitamins can help to break down histamines. Vitamin C can help, quercetin as mentioned at the beginning, we talked about quercetin foods like onions and apples, garlic, and digestive enzymes. And there's actually my favorite combination supplement one called D-Hist from ortho molecular.
Again, this is not medical advice. I will link it below if you want to check with your main healthcare provider. Now, since we talked about those three things that you can do, I really want to talk about this gut season allergy connection and something to be super-mindful about probiotics because your probiotic supplement could be making your seasonal allergies worse as well. And that's because some strains of bacteria have been shown to help with the breakdown of histamines and others, not as much.
So the ones that are shown to increase histamine so avoid these would be L. Casei, L. Bulgaricus. And then those that have been found to decrease histamines include L. Rhamnosus, B. Infantis, and L. Plantarium. Further, other dysbiosis could be contributing to histamine intolerance and high histamine burden.
So this includes things like SIBO, candida overgrowth, mold, and parasites, one clinician that I had gone to a conference and listen to estimate that 70% of her clients were struggling with histamine issues like seasonal allergy issues, but they improved after SIBO treatment. So the histamine intolerance was related to their SIBO. And then also genetics can play into this as well.
So there's actually a genetic snip that can decrease the DAO activity and that's, you know, rewind to the supplement part, that first supplement I had mentioned where for some people it works great, for other people, not at all. And this could be one reason why it could work so well for some people and not the other people.
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I hope you learned a lot from this topic! Have a nice day and see you at the next one!
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