Did you notice your eyes itching when you took your dog for a walk yesterday? How about that trip to the park last week with your children when you sneezed all the way home? Sound familiar?
If so, you’re not alone. Seasonal allergies cause millions of North Americans to experience sneezing, runny nose, skin itching, sore and watery eyes as well as shortness of breath each spring and fall. Sufferers know these and many more symptoms all too well. I too once suffered from severe seasonal allergies, relying on over the counter drugs as well as yearly shots to avoid being bedridden for days, weeks and even months.
How did I learn to manage my seasonal allergy symptoms? The truth is, I stumbled upon the solution while trying to rid myself of high cholesterol and being pre-diabetic many years ago. As I began to eat more plant based nutritious foods and less processed foods, I noticed each spring and fall my seasonal allergy symptoms decreased in severity. I began to feel so good, I found myself free of medication and able to enjoy the outdoors with a whole new zest for life.
If you suffer with seasonal allergies you know how hard it can be to enjoy life at certain times of the year. You do not need to suffer or spend large amounts of money on drugs that will not help you heal. These 5 Natural Ways to Beat Seasonal Allergies will have you excited to get back outside and enjoy all the wonders Mother Nature has to offer.
The 5 Natural Ways to Beat Seasonal Allergies are all based on increasing the strength of your immune system. With allergies being an autoimmune dysfunction, your ability to heal lies in the health of your immune system. With trillions of cells actively working to keep you strong and healthy, we want to focus our energy on ways to increase our cells capacity to regenerate and create a symbiotic state from which our immune system can flourish.
In order to achieve this for yourself, I am happy to share my;
5 Natural Ways to Beat Seasonal Allergies
1. Control Your Blood Sugar
As many of you know through my Power of Food teachings, I never tell you to eliminate anything from your diet. What I do recommend is looking for a highly nutritious food you can begin adding in to everything you eat to help control your blood sugar. One such food is hemp seeds. Due to their very healthy complete protein and essential fatty acids, hemp seeds are a great addition to any meal.
Just add 1 tablespoon at every meal or snack you eat for the next 3 days and feel your energy levels rise right away. By controlling your blood sugar you will have less food cravings and sugar cravings, giving your body a chance to digest more efficiently. This in turn allows your immune system to stay strong and helps heal any long term digestive ailments that may be leading to your seasonal allergies.
Action Step #1: Eat 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds with each meal or snack for the next 3 days. Once done, keep this going everyday for the rest of your life!
2. Lower Your Intake of Gluten
Yes, this may seem contradictory, but remember, you don’t need to eliminate it, you need only to reduce it. The majority of foods we eat in North America are gluten based, which is why I highly recommend cutting your intake of gluten down as much as possible.
Gluten is a protein that is very hard to digest. What you want to do is clean up your digestive system to help strengthen your immune system, which in turn will lower your allergy symptoms. The less stress on your digestive system, the stronger your immune system becomes and the happier your nose and eyes will be come spring and fall.
Action Step #2: Take a look at all the food items in your cupboard. Notice which ones contain wheat as an ingredient. Once you have done this, pick 2 items you will replace with a gluten free option the next time you go grocery shopping. There are dozens of gluten free options for pasta, breads, cookies, cereal, wraps, muffins and pizza. Seek and you shall find.
3. Take Digestive Enzymes Daily
Enzymes are the sparks of life. These proteins are the catalyst for every chemical reaction in your body. Unfortunately, many of us do not have sufficient digestive enzymes to help break down the foods we eat and therefore cause digestive distress. This distress leads to symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, IBS and unwanted inflammation.
In turn, your immune system becomes compromised and therefore you suffer with unwanted allergic reactions to food or environment. Consuming a digestive enzyme with each meal will help assist your digestive system to break down the fats, proteins and carbohydrates you consume, giving you more energy and a stronger immune system. This will inturn help alleviate your seasonal allergies.
Action Step #3: Get some digestive enzymes from your local health food store. Pick a brand they recommend and take one with every meal you eat for the next 7 days. I take digestive enzymes daily and I highly recommend they become a part of your daily routine.
4. Eat Your Greens
You’ve been told this one before, haven’t you? Most likely you have been told to eat your greens from as far back as you can remember. Eating your greens is important. I have grown to love kale over the years, especially since I discovered its amazing health benefits. I call kale the queen of greens and add it to my smoothies, my salads, soups and as kale chips. Its high protein content, fibre, calcium and iron are not to be missed in your daily diet. Other important greens include broccoli, cabbage and spinach. I even use swiss chard as a replacement for my old wheat based wraps. Eating more greens will provide you with vital nutrients needed to strengthen your immune system and help support your ability to avoid unwanted allergy symptoms.
Action Step #4: For the next 3 days, start each morning with a green smoothie. Follow this recipe below and enjoy a very powerful immune boosting breakfast. Remember to take one digestive enzyme while drinking your smoothie. Take any leftovers to work for a great afternoon snack.
Eat Your Greens Smoothie
1 cup kale
¼ cup hemp seeds
4 cups water
5. Breath Out the Stress
Along with nutritional stress due to over consumption of processed foods void of nutrients, our lack of mindful breathing may have the single most damaging impact on our immune systems and the primary cause of seasonal allergies.
What is your first reaction when you experience stress? If you said hold your breath, you are correct. When you hold your breath, it is mostly an unconscious stress response. This leads to poor oxygen flow, fatigue, carbohydrate cravings and lack of blood flow to the brain. As your breath slows and your shoulders become tense, your immune system goes into high alert and begins overcompensating to keep you safe. This of course is the ‘fight or flight response’ we as humans tend to experience multiple times per day.
Thankfully, we are rarely in as much danger as our bodies perceive us to be. But this response leads to inflammation and a decreased immune function. The end result is a higher chance of experiencing seasonal allergies along with a host of unwanted ailments and disease.
If you truly want to avoid having to go camping with a box of tissues in your hand, begin using your breath daily to help support your immunity. Meditation, yoga, morning breath work and physical activity are just a few of the many ways you can begin engaging your breath daily. Not only will it have you feeling more energized within moments, breathing deep on a daily basis will strengthen your immune system and have you back out camping without needing to stock extra tissue for the road.
Action Step #5: Hang a “Just Breathe” sign on your office computer. For the next 3 days set a timer to go off every 60 minutes during your workday. When the timer rings, STOP, look at the sign and take 3 deep mindful breaths. Really breathe in deep and slow. Notice how you feel when done and enjoy the extra calm it brings into your day.
These 5 Natural Ways to Beat Seasonal Allergies are lifelong additions that will have your feeling more energized and able to enjoy all the seasons with fewer and fewer allergy symptoms. Use the 5 Action Steps I shared as your guide to getting started now.
If you have had success beating your seasonal allergies, let us know below in the comment section what you did to overcome them. I love to hear from you!