YOUR GUIDE TO SEASONAL ALLERGIES
If you, or your significant other, suffer from seasonal allergies, then you’ll know how much of an inconvenience they can really be (the allergies, not your S.O...).
Getting through the simplest of tasks or merely just enjoying the warmer months, can become a real challenge, especially if that person you live with proceeds to every summer stroll sneezing and moaning.
But we really do understand your pain.
And often the preventative measures such as symptom suppressing medication (think anti-histamines and inhalers) or hiding inside until winter arrives, don’t always align with our optimal health goals.
Fear not, we’ve compiled our tried and tested seasonal allergy guide: the protocol to get you through the glorious summertime.
Quercitin really is at the top of our supplement protocol when it comes to tackling hay fever. Not only is it a powerful anti-inflammatory flavonoid, a type of phytonutrient, but it works to cleverly inhibit histamine release.
Histamine is a nitrogenous compound found all over the body but is released by mast cells as an inflammatory, immune response. Histamine targets all those places you’d expect to overreact in the presence of an allergen – such as your nose, lungs, eyes and throat.
Quercitin, taken either in supplement form or found in onions, apples and blackberries, can inhibit excessive histamine release from those mast cells. In lab testing, quercetin reduced IgE reactions and asthma symptoms.
It is recommended that due to its fast excretion rate, quercetin supplementation is split and distributed throughout the day, ranging from 150-1500mg.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple and is most abundant in it’s hard, gritty core. Whilst pineapple itself can be an issue for those with a histamine intolerance due simply to its high histamine content, bromelain may be a useful thing to supplement with if you experience seasonal allergies.
Bromelain works specifically on the respiratory tract and can ease inflammation – another one for asthma suffers to note down.
Bromelain can interfere with warfarin and certain antibiotics, so always speak to your GP before consuming The dosage for bromelain sits at 100-200mg, three times per day.
Another powerful flavonoid, part of the polyphenol family, catechins are fabulous compounds that have a huge variety of health benefits, including improving insulin sensitivity and supporting the cardiovascular system.
In terms of seasonal allergies, catechins, found in green tea, dark chocolate and a number of brightly coloured berries, work on the enzyme histidine decarboxylase and inhibits its actions.
Histidine decarboxylase turns the amino acid histidine, into histamine. An over-stimulation of this enzyme results in those unwanted allergy symptoms. Frequent and consistent consumption of catechin containing foods can help to inhibit this enzyme. They also work to inhibit the COX-1 pathway, another inflammatory immune response.
It seems as if the world has gone mad with supplementing vitamin C, but it really is a great immune-supporting nutrient.
Again, when we look at seasonal allergies and reactions, it is all about supporting immune function and hence why you’ll find vitamin c in a number of different hayfever complexes.
Chances are, if you chose to supplement with any of the listed nutrients, they’ll have vitamin c thrown in for good measure.
If not, vitamin c is, for the most part, safe to supplement with. However, if you’re eating a diet rich in plants (we cannot synthesis it ourselves and so must be consumed through fruits and vegetables), then chances are you’re already getting a good amount.
High amounts of vitamin C can be found in green leafy veggies, such as kale and spinach, kiwis, berries, oranges, lemons and grapefruits.
Curcumin is the active compound found in turmeric and is very well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. As allergies are an immune response causing inflammation, it makes sense to include a vast amount of these gorgeous anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Curcumin blocks a molecule called NF-kB, whose main job is to be a bad influence on your genes and corrupt the one’s related to inflammation. Inflammation acutely and in low amounts is what we need to heal and repair, however, it’s chronic, ongoing inflammation that causes the uncomfortable symptoms we want to eliminate.
You can supplement with curcumin or incorporate turmeric into as many as your meals as you can, from curries to lattes.
Ideally, you want to be aiming for two teaspoons a day at the least, which you could get sick of very quickly. This is where supplementation comes in handy and also so happens to be very easy for the body to absorb.
MSM AKA methylsulfonylmethane is more commonly known as a nutrient and supplement for healthy skin and hair, in fact, we doubt you’ll come across many beauty complexes without it.
However, this naturally occurring compound, found in leafy greens and meat, is actually a powerful immune modulator and a great addition to your seasonal allergies protocol.
Studies have shown a significant improvement in respiratory tract symptoms stemming from seasonal allergies when supplementing with 1,300mg of MSM twice a day. We also recommend upping the greens, as really, you can’t really go wrong.
By now, its nothing revolutionary to be told that looking after your gut is essential in optimal health. So we’ll keep this short and snappy.
There is an awfully high percentage of our immune system located in our gut and thus, looking after your microbiome and maintaining the health of the good bugs lays the groundwork for your allergy-fighting protocol.
Research has been done on specific strains of bacteria on the outcome of hay fever. When looking for a probiotic its time to really zone into the right types of strain for the systems you present with.
The combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria may work to increase t-cells, a type immune cell, to reduce symptoms of mild seasonal allergies.
Alone, a probiotic isn’t enough and really, a waste of money, especially since bacteria works on an ongoing carousel in and out of the body. We need to be maintaining a healthy terrain with prebiotic fibre and a wide range of plants and limit food for the bad bacteria, such as processed sugars and inflammatory fats.
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