Snows melting, sun's shining, flowers booming...allergies have made their return.
If you got allergies, but love working out outside, times are about to get tough, real tough, especially for you highly-sensitive to pollen runners out there!
BUT...we've got the best tips and natural ways to beat those seasonal allergies! Ain't nothing holding us back!
Let’s get to it!
WHAT CAUSES SEASONAL ALLERGIES?
#1 cause = POLLEN
Seasonal allergies — also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis — often occur during the spring, summer, or fall when weeds, trees, and grasses release pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants.
When a person has seasonal allergies, their immune system treats those pollen particles as a harmful invader, releasing histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream to defend against them. The release of these chemicals is what leads to the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Different individuals can have allergic reactions to different types of pollen, and the timing of symptoms often depends on the type of pollen they are allergic to.
For the majority of the United States, spring allergies begin in March and last until May.
Spring allergies are typically caused by flower and tree pollen, whereas fall allergies tend to be caused by weed pollen.
HOW ARE SEASONAL ALLERGIES TREATED?
Typically, antihistamines, either over-the-counter or prescription are used to treat seasonal allergies. These allergy medications work by blocking the effects of histamines produced in response to an allergen entering our system.
However, they often cause side effects like drowsiness, fatigue, and dry mouth, which lead many people to avoid them and seek natural alternatives.
OUR BEST TIPS TO COMBAT SPRING ALLERGIES
Whether you're looking for natural remedies or new approaches to traditional treatments, we've got you covered.
Here's our top tips:
- Vitamin C + Multivitamins
- Vitamin D
- Omega 3's
Start tackling those spring allergies with natural relief. Use these pointers to help you out...
TIP 1: PROBIOTICS
Research suggests that there is a link between poor gut health and respiratory allergies.
By improving the health of your gut microbiome through the use of probiotics, it's possible to reduce the occurrence of allergy symptoms.
There is evidence that probiotics may also reduce allergic reactions by altering immune responses through a variety of mechanisms.
For example, one 2020 study noted that probiotics may work against allergens by suppressing the production of IgE antibodies and increasing regulatory T cells that damp down immune responses.
Another 2022 study discovered that taking a probiotic formula for 10–12 weeks was effective in reducing symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, including runny nose and itchy eyes, as well as quality of life.
Sources of probiotics include:
- High-quality probiotic supplements
TIP 2: VITAMIN C + MULTIVITAMINS
Vitamin C is important for your immune health. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine.
Unlike antihistamine medications, which block histamine receptors, vitamin C works by reducing the amount of histamine your body produces.
In particular, high doses of vitamin C may help lower histamine levels in the body.
One older study found that 2,000 milligrams (2 grams) of vitamin C can reduce histamine levels by a whopping 38%.
Sources of vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits (kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, lemon)
- Vitamin C Supplements
TIP 3: VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is necessary for a healthy immune system. It may also play an important role in the prevention of allergies.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem among many people — especially those with allergies. Research shows that low vitamin D levels can increase the severity of allergic reactions.
One study found that supplementation with 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily for 30 days significantly improved nasal symptoms in people with allergic rhinitis.
In addition to sunshine, good sources of vitamin D include:
- Cod liver oil
- Orange juice and milk fortified with vitamin D
- Beef liver
- Vitamin D supplements
TIP 4: QUERCETIN
Quercetin, a flavonol found in plants, may inhibit the production and release of histamine, as well as other substances that contribute to allergic and inflammatory reactions.
One 2020 review of studies concluded that quercetin is promising for treating and managing allergic diseases, especially rhinitis (nose irritation from allergies).
Good sources of quercetin include:
- Citrus fruits
TIP 5: BROMELAIN
Bromelain, a type of enzyme found in the stem of pineapples, is a well-known remedy for swelling and inflammation caused by allergies.
Research suggests that bromelain may decrease nasal swelling, reduce mucus production, and improve nasal drainage.
A 2016 review of studies also noted that administering bromelain in children can reduce the duration of sinusitis symptoms and accelerate recovery. Sinusitis patients given bromelain experienced complete resolution of inflammation of the nasal mucosa and breathing difficulties.
TIP 6: ADAPTOGENS
Adaptogens are mushrooms and plants that help boost your body’s ability to handle stress.
When the immune system overreacts to an allergen, adaptogens can lower the immune system's response and return it to a healthy level.
Although evidence is limited, Reishi particularly appears promising for allergy sufferers. One study noted that Reishi has anti-allergic properties. It also supports a healthy immune system and decreases inflammation, helping soothe seasonal allergy symptoms.
Adaptogens can be consumed whole (although some may be too bitter), in capsule form, as a drink, or as a powder added to soups, smoothies, and other foods.
TIP 7: OMEGA 3's
Omega-3s are “healthy fats” found in various foods and supplements. They are believed to reduce inflammation in the body, easing seasonal allergy symptoms.
Current studies strongly support the use of omega-3 fatty acids in preventing and improving asthma and allergic diseases.
Additionally, a 2019 study noted that omega-3s may decrease the narrowing of the airways that occurs in some cases of seasonal allergies and asthma.
- Cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring
- Nuts and seeds
- Cod liver oil
- Chia seeds
- Omega-3 supplements
TIP 8: TURMERIC
Turmeric, also known as the golden spice, can do wonders for your allergies — primarily due to its curcumin content.
Curcumin is known for its ability to reduce inflammation. This can potentially reduce the inflammation and swelling caused by allergies.
While further human research is needed, studies appear promising for turmeric's potential to relieve seasonal allergies.
One 2016 study found that curcumin effectively alleviated nasal symptoms and nasal congestion in people with allergic rhinitis by improving airflow through the nasal passages.
Curcumin may also be beneficial for the immune system.
Turmeric powder can be used as a spice in dishes like curry, soups, and golden milk, which is made by adding turmeric to warm milk. To enhance the absorption of turmeric, consume it with a source of fat, such as avocado, nut butter, or olive oil.
Alternatively, you can take a high-quality turmeric supplement that includes black pepper, which improves absorption.
TIP 9: SAUNA
For instance, one study analyzed 31 patients who underwent 40-minute infrared sauna therapy sessions daily for 7 days. All patients noted improvements in nasal itching, stuffiness, eye itching, and sneezing during treatment.
Another 2018 review of studies suggests that saunas — both Finnish-style and infrared — can benefit people with seasonal allergies, as well as those with chronic fatigue and pain. Not to mention its positive effects on exercise performance and overall quality of life.
TIP 10: EXERCISE
While exercise won't eliminate seasonal allergies altogether, it increases your blood flow. This helps move allergens quickly through your bloodstream, reducing inflammation and irritation.
Another small study found that participants who did 30 minutes of walking/or running on a treadmill for eight weeks found significant improvements in allergic rhinitis symptoms.
However, it’s important to exercise appropriately and avoid seasonal allergy triggers. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends avoiding exercising outdoors when pollen counts are high.
When you are already experiencing symptoms, you may also want to avoid endurance exercise as it may worsen symptoms.
Try these exercises for symptom relief:
- Strength Training
- Hot Yoga
TIP 11: SLEEP
Sleep is essential for allergy sufferers because it helps strengthen the immune system and restore the body.
One 2022 study discovered that people with poor sleep quality are more likely to experience seasonal allergies.
In addition to worsening stress, inadequate sleep can wear down the immune system, exacerbating allergy symptoms.
Most adults should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night for optimal health. Using an air purifier and closing your doors and windows can help reduce allergen exposure for a restful night’s sleep.
It's time to enjoy the outdoors...don't let this be you ^
- Pollen is the #1 cause of seasonal allergies
- You can use probiotics, multivitamins, vitamin D, quercetin, bromelain, adaptogens, omega-3s, and turmeric to help naturally relieve symptoms.
- Incorporate sauna, exercise, and adequate sleep aid in relief.
Seasonal allergies can throw a wrench in your daily routine and plans, especially during the spring months. But by combining the strategies we’ve discussed with a healthy diet, you can live your best life this spring without falling victim to your allergies.
Some strategies that may help relieve seasonal allergy symptoms include incorporating probiotics, adaptogens, exercise, and ensuring you get enough sleep.
It's important to remember that what works for one person may not work for you, so it may take some trial and error to find what brings you relief.
As always, it's a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment if you suspect you have seasonal allergies. Speaking with a provider before starting any new supplement is also important.