Allergy season is right around the corner, and although that means warmer weather (hooray!), it also means recurrent trips to the drug store and lots of sneezing and wheezing. Many people rely on medication - and even allergy shots - during the springtime, without realizing that superfoods could actually aid in their symptoms.
One of the keys to remedying spring allergies is to understand why they happen. Most of us know that pollen is the biggest trigger of springtime allergies, but our bodily reactions are important to understand as well. When our bodies come into contact with pollen, our immune systems recognize it as a threat, releasing histamines, which cause inflammation. It’s this inflammation that in turn causes symptoms such as runny nose and itchy eyes.
So it’s a no brainer that we turn to antihistamines during allergy seasons, but for the many people who want a more natural remedy, where do they turn? Luckily, there are some superfoods that are especially helpful in reducing inflammation, and therefore reducing its side effects. Here are a few of our favorites:
The polysaccharides, or carbohydrates, in Reishi mushroom powder aid the body in building the immune system and combating many allergies by aiding in the production of T-cells, helper T-cells, and natural killer cells. At the same time, Japanese doctors have prescribed Reishi mushrooms for the treatment of bronchitis and memory loss, both of which involve inflammation. So, Reishi mushroom powder inhibits both histamine and inflammation, keeping your potential allergies at bay.
Elderberries are known for providing respiratory relief, and have been used medicinally for coughs, colds, bronchitis, hay fever, and of course - allergies. Elderberries have the ability to calm the immune system and prevent inflammation to keep everything under control. Check out this recipe for a delicious elderberry syrup!
3. Bee Polle
While many people swear by eating local honey during allergy season, we take a more direct route to the superfood at work: bee pollen! Ironically enough, bee pollen reduces histamine in our bodies, calming down our immune response. Experts recommend starting out slow with bee pollen consumption, at first placing a tiny bit under your tongue, waiting two minutes, and then swallowing if no symptoms present. After that, increase consumption by about ½ teaspoon per day until you reach 1-3 tablespoons. Bee pollen taste great stirred into smoothies or sprinkled over your favorite foods.
Keep the tissues at home this spring and heal yourself naturally with these three superfoods. For extra support, start incorporating these foods into your diets ASAP to prepare your body for allergy season before it even starts.