After a long cold winter here in Victoria, Spring has finally arrived. The new season sees nature awaken with new growth, blossoms and pollens.
While most of us are soaking up the extra sunshine and warmth, many are suffering runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing.
Spring is hay fever season as the increase in allergens sends immune systems into overdrive.
Over the counter antihistamines may provide relief but there are also natural alternatives to alleviate these allergic symptoms.
Quercetin is a phytochemical that is seriously great at reducing inflammation. Quercetin is also a natural antihistamine, reducing histamine release from certain immune cells providing relief from allergic symptoms. Quercetin can be found in red, green and purple fruit and veg such as berries, leafy green veg, broccoli and capsicum. Increasing your intake of these foods will help but a quercetin supplement may be beneficial to achieve a therapeutic amount.
Studies have found that people who suffer from Hayfever and Allergies have a different microbiota to those who don’t. While the research is still in the early stages it seems that increasing the diversity of beneficial bacteria in the gut may assist in relieving allergic symptoms. The correct probiotic supplement, fermented foods, resistant starches and plenty of fibre will all increase the diversity and health of your gut flora.
Similar in action to Quercetin, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and an effective antihistamine. Kiwi, citrus, papaya and berries are all great sources of this allergy fighting vitamin.
Chicken soup made from real bone broth is a winner. Chicken soup has an anti-inflammatory action by reducing the movement of immune system cells called neutrophils that are drivers in the inflammatory response. Chicken soup has also been shown to increase the flow of mucus out of the sinuses and thus relieve congestion.
Warming spices such as ginger, cinnamon and cayenne thin mucus allowing it to be expelled more easily. Garlic and onion are also useful for breaking down mucus and relieve stuffy sinuses. Incorporate some of these into your recipes to heat things up, clear congestion and start enjoying the new Spring.