How Your Diet May Be Affecting Your Seasonal Allergies

I don’t know about you, but I’m so excited about the springtime! It’s one of my favorite times of year, because the weather is warming up, it’s beautiful outside, the birds are chirping, the anticipation of summer activities are in the air… But then, ALLERGIES.  My entire life, I’ve actually suffered from outdoor and indoor allergies, so it’s basically been a year-round struggle for me, just elevated in the spring and summer months. If you’re an allergy sufferer, I can relate!

I learned how to put eye drops in at a very early age, and would put way too much in just for the relief of horrible eye allergies! I was also no stranger to allergy medicine, and took it much more often than I’d like to even think about.  As I got older, I became more interested in natural remedies, avoiding medications and chemicals, while also ignoring a huge aspect - food. I remember 2 years ago was one of the worst allergy seasons I’ve endured.  I wanted so badly to enjoy the spring, so I’d go out and take a walk during my lunch break and come back with crazy itchy eyes and the sneeze attack from hell…itchy nose/mouth/throat and all! I’d desperately diffuse an essential oil trio (lavender/lemon/peppermint), which was actually quite helpful, but I’d be struggling while I breathed it in for at least 30 minutes, sometimes an hour to really get relief.

I didn’t start my health journey until the summer of 2017, so I didn’t realize the effects that diet had on seasonal allergies until last year, and WOW was I amazed! I recall sitting in the office and hearing my co-workers talk about how they’ve been taking allergy meds every day just to survive, and then it hit me… I’m in the same office, doing the same springtime walks and was allergy-free.  No more sneeze attacks from hell and wanting to gauge my eyes out just for a little relief, no more sucking in EO’S through my nostrils for an hour straight, I felt great!

I started wondering why it was the case, and as it turns out, because my diet was anti-inflammatory, it lowered my allergies. The more inflammatory your diet is - with things like sugar, grains, seed & vegetable oils - the worse your allergies will be. Secondly, if your gut health is out of whack, that could also increase allergies.

Here are a couple of tips you can use to help lower your allergies this year:

Get rid of inflammatory foods.

Cut grains and sugar to the curb, stop eating processed foods with all of their additives, and stick with whole foods like ethically-sourced meat and seafood, and plenty of vegetables

Add in a few things to lower inflammation.

In the standard American Diet (SAD), it’s typical to have too much Omega-6, and not enough Omega-3.  Omega-3 are known to lower inflammation, so eat some salmon, and if you’re crazy like my hubby and enjoy sardines and anchovies, eat those too! If you don’t get seafood on a regular basis, supplement with a good omega-3 made with fish oil.  I recommend Primal Omegas, which you can actually order on Thrive Market for a good price. Another thing that helps to lower inflammation is turmeric.  You can find a capsule, or drink some golden milk or turmeric tea at night (note: you need a pinch of black pepper for your body to absorb turmeric correctly, so be sure to add a pinch to your golden milk!).

Up Your Gut Health Game

Make sure you’re getting probiotics - you can get a good dose of this from fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi & pickles, drinks like kombucha, or take a good probiotic pill for the days you don’t get it through food. I recommend Primal Probiotics, also available on Thrive Market.

Be sure to also be getting enough prebiotics.  While our gut needs the good bacteria from the pro, that bacteria needs food, which is where prebiotics come in! You can get this through resistant starches, like a green banana, cooked and cooled white potatoes, cooked and cooled white rice or raw potato starch (which I drink in almond milk each night to make things easy!).

Bone broth is another great gut healer, be sure to get it in often, I recommend either making your own, or check out Bonafide Provisions for the best quality bone broth I’ve seen!

Collagen is a huge bonus of bone broth, but since I don’t drink it every day, I buy collagen peptides and add it to my coffee in the morning. I love Thrive Market’s brand, and Vital Proteins is another great brand I’ve used. (Thrive Market or Vital Proteins from Costco are the best deals)

One word: Antioxidants

Be sure to get enough of vitamins C, E & D.  Of course, getting these as much as possible from foods and the most natural forms are the best for you.  Get vitamin D from the sun, supplement if you need to (most people are deficient in D), I recommend Primal Sun (again, available on Thrive...geez, I’m like a walking advertisement for them, they should start paying me!). Get vitamin E from eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, nuts & seeds! Get plenty of vitamin C from eating lots of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, red & green peppers, & leafy greens.

So there you have it, this is how what you’re consuming can actually help lower your inflammation and as a result: allergies. Happy Spring!

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