The Secret to Fighting off Spring Allergies
Once all of the snow has melted on our chilly Canadian grounds, many of us know exactly what comes next. The grass starts to turn green, the sun warms our skin, the leaves on the trees begin to sprout, pollenstarts to circulate in the air all around us…
Ah, now you know where we’re going with this. You know what they say! April showers bring May flowers… and allergies! Oh, what are we to do. Luckily, I have some suggestions that may help with the battle of red itchy eyes and running noses that is to come.
To get a better understanding of why some of us react so poorly to these common allergens in the air, while others roam freely without adverse effects, let’s talk about what causes an allergic reaction. When we flare up after being exposed to something that shouldn’t be harmful under normal circumstances, whether it be food or dust or pollen or chemicals, it is caused by an inappropriate immune response. For whatever reason, the immune system sometimes mistakes non-toxic substances for “intruders”, sending white blood cells into a protective frenzy, causing them to attack. In this immune response, a derivative of the amino acid histidine, called histamine,is released along mucosal surfaces. The purpose of this is to open up capillaries so that our white blood cells can destroy pathogens, but this process causes irritating symptoms like itching, swelling, watery eyes and runny nose that those of us with allergies know all too well.
Allergies like this can be somewhat of a tough egg to crack. Treatment is fairly limited, and most people are simply told to take anti-histamine medication to ease the severity of their symptoms. However, if you’re like me, you may be wondering if there are any natural routes that may help with these villainous spring allergies. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and there sure is a way! I’m specifically talking about immune boosters, liver support, and natural histamine inhibitors. To clarify, when I say immune boosting, the goal is not to stimulate an already overactive immune system (as this may be confusing) but rather to strengthen so that hypersensitivity isn’t as much of an issue in the future. Starting with one of my favourite vitamins of all time, vitamin C!
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that it is difficult to reach a toxic level from taking too much, as it is excreted frequently by the body. Vitamin C is great for the immune system, inflammation, AND for preventing the formation of histamine. Histamine itself is detoxified through the liver by methylation, so it’s very important to try taking liver supporting herbs (such as milk thistle) and to get enough methyl donor vitamins like folate, B12, and choline. Are you drinking enough water? Most people aren’t, let’s be honest. If you aren’t drinking enough fluids, your blood can become more concentrated. Concentrated blood increases levels of histamine once it reaches the lungs, so make sure to get those 8 cups of H20 in to you!
FUN FACT; you can actually get some quality histamine inhibitors from a wonderful compound found in onions and apples, called quercetin! Hey mom, an apple a day really does keep the doctor away!
Now that I’ve given you an earful, are you wondering if your custom supplement with AMIE will help with your allergies? Of course! Everyone gets a multi-mood blend with active forms of vitamin C and methyl donor vitamins discussed previously in this blog. Because our brown rice protein is organic, we don’t have to worry about liver disrupting compounds often found in non-organic grains. Go AMIE!
Still, eat that apple every day. 😉