written by: Elysia Arseneau, staff writer
This year's longer winter means that certain trees were a little late with their release of pollen. While that won't matter to some people, it is significant for allergy sufferers because it means that some trees are giving out a burst of pollen all at the same time.
Did you know that The Weather Network website includes a daily Pollen Report? The June 6th 2016 pollen count forecast in the Ottawa area shows "moderate," which means that there are 21-80 grains/m³. Although not too bad, that's still enough to aggravate many people's allergies.
Instead of masking your symptoms and dealing with side effects of allergy medication, here are 5 easy tips to reduce your allergy symptoms in the first place.
1. Use apple cider vinegar
Forever known as a home remedy for allergies, apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties which can really help with reducing symptoms of allergies. 1 tablespoon twice a day in water is all it takes to start reaping its benefits!
2. Reduce your stress
When you're stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol leads to an outpouring of histamine by mast cells: histamine is the compound responsible for most allergy symptoms! Practicing deep breathing exercises, meditating, or doing yoga can help reduce your cortisol levels. In addition, you should make sure you're getting enough exercise to help with managing stress.
3. Keep your windows closed
This sounds simple but not everyone does it! Pollen comes in through open windows, whether it's your home or your car. Pollen counts are highest in the early morning hours (usually 4am - 10am), so sleeping with your windows closed will help prevent pollen from getting into the house when it's at its worst, which in turn goes a long way to reducing allergy symptoms.
4. Take turmeric
Turmeric, a popular spice used for cooking, is well-known to lower inflammation. Adding 1/4 tsp to your apple cider vinegar in the morning or supplementing with curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) will help you on your way to being allergy symptom-free!
5. Eat according to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Certain foods increase inflammation in the body. The idea is that the more inflammation you have, the worse your allergy symptoms will be. Adopting an Anti-Inflammatory diet (sometimes called the Elimination Diet) can help many people survive allergy season. Sugar, wheat and dairy are known to be the biggest inflammatory foods, but other foods such as tomatoes, bananas, corn and soy can also cause inflammation in some people.
If you'd like to find out if you're sensitive to any foods, you can always contact NutriChem to...
- set up a Nutritional Consultation for assistance with the Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- book an appointment for allergy testing through bloodwork (for example, the 200+ foods test)
[A version of this article appeared in our March 2014 newsletter. It has been updated and information has been added.]