The all too familiar symptoms of watery, itchy eyes, scratchy throats, coughing, and sneezing are something millions of people suffer with. And unfortunately, it’s not just in the springtime. Seasonal allergies seem to occur whatever the season (except maybe when everything’s frozen outdoors). When things start blooming and pollen is flying around, the allergies go crazy.
What can you do to limit the misery without missing out on pleasant days spent outdoors? And what are some healthier alternatives to popping an allergy medication just to tame the watery eyes and all that sneezing?
Vacuuming at least weekly, and using a good HEPA filter in your vacuum, can also aid in keeping allergens to a minimum indoors. Be sure to change your bedding every week as well, and ideally wash your sheets in hot water to send accumulated irritants down the drain.
Keeping clutter to a minimum not only makes cleaning the house simpler but gives your home-space a calmer feel. Having fewer items to dust makes the chore less dreaded and helps keep other common allergy causes, like dust mites, to a minimum. Just be sure when you dust to avoid chemical-laden sprays. It’s important to use a damp rag to catch the dust and not merely scatter it around the house—just use a bit of water.
The Wild Way To Fight Allergies
Make sure to limit stress.
It can be easier said than done, especially when you’re awake at night or spending the day stuffy and seeing through itchy, red eyes, but keeping stress levels down can help keep inflammation down too. While stress itself doesn’t necessarily cause the allergies, it may increase levels of histamine in your bloodstream which can make an allergic reaction worse.
Seasonal allergy symptoms are an example of an overreaction by the immune system to otherwise typically harmless substances. So helping boost your immune system can be a good approach.
Boost your immune system.
Many of our Wild products are fantastic for helping your body strengthen your immune system. Some of these are found in our line of Wild Shrooms. Many medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries due to their adaptogenic properties.
Adaptogens help your body deal with stress by normalizing various processes in your body. So we use our Wild mushroom powders for their help in de-stressing, their aid in detox, and modulating the immune system, along with some remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. (You can read more detailed facts about these on each of our Wild Shroom’s product pages.)
Keep active by exercising.
Don’t let your lack of desire (or ability) to get outdoors keep you from your exercise routine. It’s important to still keep moving to improve your body’s blood flow and promote the removal of allergens.
Choose the days and times when the pollen count is lowest to enjoy outdoor exercises, otherwise, be sure you still workout indoors. There are plenty of home workouts you can do that don’t even require special equipment.
Don't eat junk food.
This certainly isn’t a new thought at Wild Foods. We’re already all about Real Food and avoiding mass-produced, preservative-laden, mechanical “food” sold in a package. Greasy, salty, fast food drive-thru options are out as well.
All those artificial colors, flavors, and crazy loads of chemicals pollute your body, giving it, even more, to contend with while it’s already fighting allergens. When your body has a hard time breaking down chemicals this may cause inflammation, which only makes things worse.
It’s simple really. Avoid all the junk food and reap the benefits—because they’re so far beyond just allergy survival.
Eat more fresh, raw food.
Warmer weather is typically the time for Farmer’s Markets and fresh food stands. Take advantage of the produce season. Whether you live in an area that offers such a local option for buying food or not, either way, you can still choose the freshest options available wherever you do shop.
Vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamins C and E may offer the most support in easing airway swelling. A 7-year study was done on children with asthma and other allergies finding that “children who consumed more than 40 grams of “fruity vegetables” a day — namely tomatoes, eggplants (aubergines), cucumber, green beans and zucchini (courgettes) – were much less likely to suffer from childhood asthma.”
The same study also noted that children who ate “more than 60 grams of fish a day also suffered fewer childhood allergies.” So whether it’s you or your children battling the outdoor pollen count, make what you eat each day count towards allergy prevention—choosing a high percentage of your food to be vegetables and fish.
Fight allergies with fish oil.
Even if you can’t enjoy a backyard barbecue and grilling up some salmon since you can’t breathe well enough to be outdoors, you can still benefit from fish. Omega-3 fatty acids may help you breathe easier.
As we discuss in our Wild Guide To Fish Oil, fish oil helps improve your immune system by reducing inflammation and improving your blood chemistry. In particular, DHA-rich fish oil enhances the activity of B cells, those are white blood cells important to the immune system and the production of antibodies.
So whether you’re cooking up some salmon in a pan or want a quicker fish option, the omega-3’s are worth considering when it comes to working on immune-boosting allergy prevention or relief. Our Wild Fish Oil products have guaranteed omega-3 content, exceptional purity, and provide you with EPA, DHA, and the rarer not found in typical fish oils, DPA.
Having enough water in your body can help flush out foreign substances like pollen, so making sure you drink enough water matters. Try not to leave a cup without a lid sitting around too long before you sip though, as dust and other irritants land on the surface and then get swallowed down.
Opt for a lid and straw option or a reusable water bottle that limits surface exposure to potential pollutants. Then, drink up!
Thank the bees.
While you may feel like you’re sneezing your brains out, the insect world puts that pollen that’s bothering you to beneficial use. Bees turn that pollen into delicious honey, which you can then use as a natural sort of “allergy shot”.
Except for very young children who should not be given any honey, when you consume a local variety, it’s a way of ingesting local pollen. This may over time help you become less sensitive to the pollen most often found in your area.
While we avoid processed sugars and keep the use of natural sweeteners to a minimum, when you’re looking for a sugar alternative, honey can be one of those options. Plus it’s a natural sweetener with some pretty sweet health benefits of its own.
Try taking a turmeric extract supplement.
Thanks to its curcumin, turmeric root provides a pretty impressive ability to offer support in being an anti-inflammatory spice. It’s one of the major health perks this rhizome is used for.
You can try one of our Wild Recipes and whip up a soothing Turmeric Tonic—or The Best Golden Milk Ever—which we love sipping here at Wild Foods. Additionally, you can take Wild Turmeric Capsules as another great way to get in the benefits of turmeric’s curcumin.
Get enough rest.
Our bodies rejuvenate at night. Try to get some good, solid sleeping in, so that your body can recover from the day and all the allergy-fighting it’s been doing. Remember: freshly washed sheets, shower before bed to rinse off irritants, and preferably an air-conditioned room. Hopefully, you’ll rest well and wake up finally feeling refreshed.
While it may seem like every time you step outside you hear a neighbor’s lawnmower or see a layer of pollen thickly coating your car or picnic table, it IS possible to enjoy a nice time outdoors while limiting the annoying symptoms of seasonal allergies (whatever season it may be).
Whatever you do, Stay Wild! And let us know what you find most helpful when you run into allergy season.