Flowers in bloom and the smell of fresh cut grass are usually the first things that come to mind when people think of spring. Unfortunately, sneezing, watery eyes and a runny nose are usually not far down the list.
Allergies affect 54.6 percent of Americans, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). With spring already here, if you suffer from allergies, you already know the side effects of being outside for too long.
Luckily, there is a way for you to combat these allergens so you don't spend your entire spring staring at a piece of tissue paper. These 10 supplements and tips will help you kick those allergies to the curb and make you feel brand new:
1. Fish-Oil -- The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are normally associated with brain health and skin, hair and bone growth. However, omega-3 fatty acids are important as they also help lower our risk of illness. Raising the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in our body will help our heart pump the blood to kick out allergens.
2. Vitamin C -- Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine. High levels of histamine trigger signs of allergies such as swelling, sneezing and a runny nose. Studies suggest taking at least 60 to 90 mg per day (with some saying 400 to 1,000 mg per day) in divided doses for the best health. Vitamin C has proven to be most effective when taken in combination with vitamin E.
3. Vitamin E -- Research shows vitamin E lowers levels of IgE in the body. This is also a histamine which makes us scratch and sniff. Vitamin E has many benefits, including lowering the harmful effects of free radicals, unstable cells which cause illness, as an antioxidant. Recommended daily intake of vitamin E is 15 mg for adults.
4. Probiotics -- Probiotics are good bacteria who help to kick out bad bacteria in your body. This can reduce swelling to help combat pollen allergies while improving immunity and digestive health.
5. Stinging Nettle -- First popularized during the time of Julius Caesar in Ancient Rome, nettle root can now be found throughout the United States. A study published in Planta Med showed freeze-dried nettle leaf exhibited the ability to reduce allergy-like systems. While research is still ongoing, it's believed the relationship lies in the plant's histamine content. Unlike synthetic medication, stinging nettle won't cause drowsiness or dry mouth.
6. Quercetin and Bromelain -- Quercetin blocks the release of histamines in the body, preventing allergies. Bromelain aids the body in the absorption of quercetin while limiting sinus inflammation. When used in combination, these two enzymes defend against allergic rhinitis.
7. Goldenseal -- Goldenseal, sometimes referred to as orange root, contains a compound known as berberine which eliminates the fungi found in mold and its spores, rendering it harmless to your allergies. The berberine in goldenseal attacks the fungi in mold and its spores. Traditionally, a goldenseal saline solution is used to enhance the cleansing and flushing action, exemplifying the antibacterial and astringent properties.
8. Butterbur -- Butterbur has been known to inhibit symptoms of grass allergies when taken in regular doses. Studies have shown it also has the ability to decrease nose irritation in people with hay fever.
(Editors Note: Be sure to use products that dictate they are "PA-free." Products labeled as such won't contain the possibly harmful pyrrolizidine alkaloids.)
9. Build Up Immunity -- Sometimes, the best way to beat something is to let it become you. Sounds a little dramatic, but there are certain supplements which actually contain trace amounts of your specific allergen, exposing you to a controlled amount of the substance. As time progresses, the effect the allergen has on you will be lessened because of your continued exposure to it.
10. Raw Honey -- While testing honey for allergy reducing properties is still ongoing, honey's cough suppressant and its anti-inflammatory effects lead some to believe it can help lessen the severity of allergies. Honey also has many antioxidant properties. One of the main components found only in raw honey is royal jelly. Royal jelly contains gamma globulins which are helpful in the improvement of immune system health. There's also those who suggest eating a bit of raw honey to help build a resistance to pollen.
Don't let spring become synonymous with suffering. For more products to help you escape the allergy bug this season, turn to eVitamins and build your body's immunity.