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The sun is coming up earlier and setting later. Birds are chirping at the break of dawn, the grass is getting greener, the breeze warmer…all sure signs that Spring has finally sprung.

But it does also mean the dreaded allergy season.

Seasonal allergies can be rough!

The most common spring allergy culprit is pollen (hay fever). Trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny grains into the air to fertilize other plants- but it also means these little grains can get into our nose and trigger someone who has allergies. Once they are breathed in- they tend to wreak havoc on us. Our immune system can actually mistakenly see them as a danger to us and release antibodies that attack the allergens and release a chemical called histamine into the nose, eyes, and lungs. Histamine is intended to attack harmful agents and remove them from the body.

This can come with:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • Potential loss of smell
  • Pain around your temples and forehead
  • Headache and earache

Hayfever allergy affects between 10 and 30 percent of all adults in the U.S. and as many as 40 percent of children. There are estimates that over 60 million people in the U.S. have symptoms of hayfever allergy.

So as much as we love when Spring finally begins- it can take its toll on you if you suffer from allergies.

There are plenty of allergy relief options out there, but some always like to go with a more natural route.

And thankfully there are some effective and natural ways to tackle those allergies head on and gain relief!

First and foremost- you can do what you can to reduce your exposure to allergens.

While this may not always be easy when you have Spring chores to do or other tasks that involve you being around allergens- little tips can help minimize your exposure.

  • If you can- stay inside on the dry and windy days. The best time for someone with allergies to go outside is just after a good rain as it helps to clear the air from pollen- reducing our sensitivity.
  • If you have a household bigger than just yourself- see if you can have someone else do the lawn mowing, weed pulling or any other gardening tasks that may stir up allergens that will bother you.
  • Once you’re back inside from being outdoors, remove the clothing you were wearing outside and shower or bath to rinse any pollen that may have stuck around on your skin or hair.
  • Try not to hang laundry outside- although it is a great way to save on hydro and water- it can actually allow pollen to stick to the articles of clothing and bedding
  • Avoid opening your windows on high pollen days- try sticking with use of your AC if it is warm. Also ensure you are cleaning your filters weekly. 

Now many of these are easier said than done- but doing what you can to limit your exposure can go a long way for your allergy symptoms.

Of course there is inevitability in your allergy symptoms no matter what you do..so for those cases- try some of the following tips to help treat your symptoms:

Sip on Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has been around as a natural remedy for centuries. It has been known to help eliminate runny noses and break up mucus. Mixing 1-2 teaspoons in some water tea is a great way to get some nasal support! As a little bonus- apple cider vinegar is also known to assist with weight loss and digestive support!

Clean Your Nose
Using a saline spray can be an effective way of opening up your nasal passages- allowing you to breathe more freely when having allergy symptoms. Studies have shown that things such as a Neti pot- can be very beneficial for sufferers of Hayfever

If you feel symptoms coming on- have a Hot Shower
We touched on this for limiting exposure- but it can also be used to help treat symptoms. The American Academy of Allergies Asthma and Immunology states that this will help clear your nostrils and nasal passages from any pollen- but will also help steam your sinuses allowing more better breathing and open your airways up a bit more.

Chow Down On Some Spicy Food
Spicy food isn’t for everyone- but spicy foods or foods high in onion and garlic can help to thin out mucus within your system. So even though the weather is warmer- a hot bowl of chili with some spices may do your body good!

Try To Incorporate Supplements
There are a few supplements that are known to be beneficial for allergies.

Vitamin C
is a powerful antioxidant that can offer great support to the immune system.. Studies have shown it may promote a healthy inflammatory response, can help reduce swelling, and ease related symptoms that occur with an allergic reaction. Vitamin C can work to protect your cells from damage, helping reduce the severity of allergic reactions and work to help keep your body as healthy as possible. When you are experiencing symptoms of allergies, Vitamin C can slow down the overreaction of your body to environmental triggers by decreasing your body’s histamine production.

Probiotics
are also said to assist with the immune system and help ease allergy symptoms. Since allergies are the result of an imbalance in the immune system that causes the body to react too strongly to a stimuli, taking a probiotic may be a key in building up your immune system so it can better fight allergy symptoms.

Find Supplements To Help Ease Your Allergy Symptoms Here!

If you find that no matter what you do- your allergies persist to no avail- then it may be best to speak with your family doctor or seek over the counter allergy relief.

Spring doesn’t have to be a dreadful time- don’t let your allergies destroy the beauty Spring brings.

Try some of these tips today and enjoy your Spring!

Resources:

https://www.britannica.com/science/histaminehttps://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/statistics#:~:text=Allergic%20rhinitis%20(hay%20fever)%20affects,and%20this%20number%20is%20increasing

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32507438/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16868232/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17597643/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar-and-your-health

Those Bees really know how to do it right!  Bee pollen is the pollen ball that has been packed by worker honeybees into pellets.  Bees work hard to created this incredible superfood.

So what’s all the buzz about?

As you probably know, the term superfood should usually be taken with a grain of salt (then again, even salt is considered a superfood in some circles these days). Sometimes superfoods are simply hyped-up, exotic offerings that aren’t actually superior to cheaper, more common foods. But some superfoods are the real deal…and bee pollen is one of them.

It turns out that this unique superfood does live up to the hype. In fact, it may just be one of nature’s most complete and nutrient-dense foods, and a growing body of research demonstrates that it offers a bevy of health benefits. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why bee pollen is worth your attention, as well as some points you should consider when taking it.

Exceptional nutrient density. We’ve harped on the primary importance of nutrient-dense food in other articles. This is perhaps the first cardinal rule of optimal nutrition: eat lots of foods with high levels of varied nutrients. By orienting your diet around this principle, you’ll automatically shy away from all the foods that aren’t doing any good for your health (which are usually just empty calories).

In this regard, bee pollen definitely makes the cut as a food to be included in a nutrient-dense diet. Bee Pollen contains nearly every nutrient that humans need: every type of free amino acid (which means it’s an unparalleled source of directly usable protein), lots of B vitamins, healthy carbohydrates and fats, and powerful antioxidant phytonutrients like carotenoids and polyphenols.

Powerful antioxidant capacity. The phytonutrients mentioned above are one secret behind the health benefits of bee pollen. After nutrient density, antioxidant capacity is perhaps the next most important quality you should look for in food. Because the vast majority of prevalent diseases and conditions are associated with excess oxidative stress in the body, antioxidants are a critical tool for preventing (and even overcoming) illness. Many health experts believe that quelling oxidative stress could even be the key to slowing down the aging process.

Studies have demonstrated that bee pollen protects the body against the free radicals created through oxidative stress, even when acute toxins like pesticides[1] and chemotherapy drugs[2] are introduced into the system.

Here’s where it gets interesting: while scientists have identified many antioxidant compounds in bee pollen, such as quercetin, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, its protective mechanism can’t quite be boiled down to isolated chemicals. Researchers discovered that the levels of individual antioxidants vary widely across different bee pollen samples, and yet, nearly all species of bee pollen had the same overall capacity to ward off oxidative stress.[3] They hypothesize that there’s a synergy between the various enzymes, polyphenols, and other constituents—namely, that bee pollen is greater than the sum of its parts!

Powerful protection against disease. Given the abundance of nutrients and antioxidants found in bee pollen, it’s no wonder that it helps ward off disease. Research has revealed that antioxidant activity is only the beginning of the story, though. Studies have demonstrated that bee pollen is also powerfully anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, anti-microbial, and even anti-viral.[4] It is effective against a variety of bacteria, and even fights off influenza.[5]

Bee pollen has also been shown to combat cancer,[6] normalize cholesterol, correct female infertility by stimulating ovarian function, combat fatigue, improve athletic performance, and aid weight loss. These are some of the many reasons that bee pollen is often called one of nature’s most perfect foods.

Natural relief from allergies. We’ve saved this one for last, because this is the benefit about which you’ve probably heard. This shouldn’t make the allergy-relieving properties of bee pollen any less amazing, though.

Both research and anecdotal evidence has shown time and time again that daily supplementation with bee pollen works wonders for allergies, especially if you begin your regimen well in advance of allergy season. Best of all, bee pollen doesn’t carry any side effects, and doesn’t inhibit immune function like antihistamines—instead, it works on other aspects of your biochemistry associated with allergic response, such as mast cells[7] and basophils.[8]

Seek out local bee pollen if at all possible, as it’s more likely to contain the plant particulates against which you’re trying to gain immunity.

Getting started with bee pollen

If you’re ready to experience the benefits discussed above, pick up some bee pollen from a trusted health food or grocery store. Just remember that it’s usually best if you can find pollen made from a local bee species, especially if you’re taking it to calm your allergies.

A word to the wise, though: bee pollen is a seriously therapeutic superfood, and thus it’s possible for it to interact with certain pharmaceuticals and other medications. Always check with your doctor before starting a bee pollen regimen.

Even if you’re not taking any medications, many superfood enthusiasts recommend starting with a very low dose (only one or two granules, dissolved under the tongue) to gauge how your body reacts to it. Once you’ve established that it feels like a good fit, you can slowly work your way up to a standard daily dose (1-2 heaping teaspoons of raw granules).

 


References 

[1] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147651308001796

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23677589

[3] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814605008617

[4] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691513007552

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26848705

[6] https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/mmr.2013.1382

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18361733

[8] http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/19/7/10635

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