Yesterday I saw my first tree blossom of the year. It was beautiful, the little white flowers reminding me that spring, with warmer and lighter days are nearly here – a symbol of hope and new life and possibilities.
For many people the first signs of spring are itchy eyes, sneezing and a streaming nose. Not so nice. So what can the world of naturopathy and functional nutrition do to help support during these times? And to also address the underlying causes for this type of response?
Supporting your hayfever symptoms.
Symptoms usually present when our ‘histamine bucket’ is full. We produce an amount of histamine normally but for some of use with genetic polymorphisms, gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation, this histamine bucket can overflow, and this is when the symptoms kick in. Top tips for what you can do at least one month before your ‘allergy season’ starts and all the way through;
- Reduce those foods that are highest in histamine;
- Fermented products: sauerkraut, pickles, vinegar, fermented soy, yeast, yoghurt, kefir and aged cheese
- Smoked, cured or fermented meats – sausage, pepperoni and salami
- Some fruits – strawberries, pineapple, bananas and kiwi and citrus fruits
- Some vegetables – spinach, tomatoes and aubergine
- Fish (frozen/smoked or canned) – mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna
- Vinegar (although apple cider vinegar is less of an issue)
- Leftover food
- Increase these foods that help to reduce histamine;
- Watercress– A study showed that watercress inhibits 60% of all histamines released from mast cells.
- Red Onions – Onions have been shown to inhibit histamine release, stabilize mast cells.
- Nettleis typically consumed as a tea. Drink 3 cups a day. Nettle is a potent antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer.
- Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
- Red Applesare not so much rich in one nutrient but instead have a wide range of flavonoids and polyphenols.
- You may also like to try some supplements to support you during this time.
- 900mg of quercetin in divided doses through the day (please consult a nutritional therapist if you are on any medications)
- DAO (diamine oxidase enzymes)
- Also consider lifestyle adaptations;
- Use a Neti Pot– Using a Neti pot during allergy season or after exposure to allergens, is a very effective way to relieve nasal congestion and flush out mucus. (25) Once or twice daily, use warm filtered water or distilled water with a touch of salt to flush your nasal passages for relief. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Yogis-NoseBuddy-Ultimate-Neti-Blue/dp/B004QL7C8C/ref=sr_1_8_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1493916571&sr=8-8&keywords=neti+pot
You can use Neti salt or pink Himalayan salt
- Shower before bed. Pollen and dust left on your skin and in your hair overnight can make your symptoms worse.
- Wipe down pets. Pets that spend time outdoors come into the home covered in pollen. Wipe them down with a damp washcloth to limit your exposure to pollen and dust.
- Keep doors and windows closed. When pollen counts are high, or on dusty days, keep your doors and windows closed to limit exposure.
It is my passion to support people in understanding what is at the root of the health conditions that they are facing. Functional medicine hand in hand with nutritional therapy helps me unearth the reasons for ill health and the obstacles that have been preventing recovery.
I wholeheartedly believe we are a blend of our histories; our food and lifestyle choices and our genetics – in fact, we are unique walking recipes ourselves. Finding the ingredients to help you make the best version of yourself is part of my work, so you can establish a loving friendship with your body and find balance in your life.