I suffered with severe seasonal allergies and asthma for years. My symptoms ranged from annoying to debilitating at times. I had itchy eyes, runny nose, and fogged brain. I was just plain miserable! Sound familiar? I went the conventional treatment route, but the side effects were as bad if not worse than the side effects of the allergies/asthma.
As of today, I have not used a conventional allergy medication or my inhaler for 15 plus years! How did I do it? It may be hard to believe, but I simply eliminated the foods in my diet that created inflammation and built my immune system back up. The most important time to start is LONG before allergy season begins. Depending on where you live, seasons may vary, but it is typically March-April.
Here are the top 12 strategies that worked for me.
1. Switched from drinking cow's milk to almond or other plant-based milks. I use certified organic or non-GMO sources. Greatly reduced or eliminated other sources of dairy such as cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt. I made those "sometime foods" instead of consuming them daily. Dairy products (lactose) do not break down well, for most, and create mucus in the body.
2. Used food sensitivity testing to determine what foods, herbs, and chemicals created inflammation. Even healthy foods, for me, were creating inflammation like lemons, avocados, coconut and turkey.
3. Once I learned that I had a mild intolerance to gluten, I switched to eliminating or using the gluten-free grains. Grains that contain gluten are wheat, rye, spelt and barley.
4. Not only did I eat my greens, but I also started drinking them! I drink a green drink every morning. Greens, fruits and vegetables in raw form are natural anti-inflammatory foods. Check out my video on how to create a Green Drink. In addition to tasting delicious, this drink builds and boosts your immune system, by adding much-needed antioxidants to your cells.
5. When I did experience seasonal irritations, I found natural solutions that didn't cause my body harm. Using plant-based enzymes between meals also works well for seasonal discomfort. We carry healthcare professional grade plant-based non-GMO enzymes that are much more potent than conventional enzymes. Contact us if we can help.
6. Switched my in-between meals snacks from crackers and chips to fruit or raw veggies (without ranch dressing!). Again, fruits and vegetables act as natural anti-inflammatory agents. Fruits and veggies should come from the whole food either fresh or frozen, never canned. Canned foods are void of enzymes and nutrients, which are essential in reducing inflammation and building the immune system.
7. I started taking Juice Plus Whole Food concentrates. Let's face it, most days; we are not getting the recommended 7-13 servings fruits/vegetables. Juice Plus makes it easy and affordable to get 26 fruits, vegetables, greens and grains for a fraction of the cost of buying organic produce. These products have been clinically proven to reduce inflammation and are simply food, not more synthetic supplements.
8. Buy and consume certified organic or naturally grown produce. Herbicides and pesticides can create respiratory issues and create more inflammation in our body. Today, almost every grocery store carries thousands of items to enable you to eat clean. It is worth the time and money to go the extra mile.
9. Vacuum your home more frequently, especially in your bedroom and if you have pets. Wear a mask or hire someone (children assuming they do not have allergies) to do this for you. Keep your windows closed during peak pollen seasons as well.
10. Eliminate chemical cleanings, dryer sheets, detergents, soaps and shampoos. Consider making your own detergents and choose personal care products that are free of chemicals that aggravate your skin and cause inflammation. I clean with simple products like baking soda and/or vinegar. Recently I created a Homemade Dishwasher Detergent blend, which I was quite proud of! I'm not very domestic, so creating things in my home, is a big deal!
11. Drink purified or reverse osmosis water. Your body is 70-80% water, so replenish it with the good stuff. City/tap water contains heavy metals that block nutrients. To learn more about what pure water really is and bring an affordable system into your home, go to The Water Evangelist. I've learned so much from these wonderful folks.
12. Tongue Scraping. As crazy as this sounds, this ritual has really helped my allergies. Purchase a stainless steel scraper as I feel they work better than the plastic versions. Scrape your tongue each morning before you brush. I start in the middle and then scrape both sides rinsing your scraper at each section. Using your toothbrush (which is what I used to use) doesn't remove the bacteria but can drive it in. Since 70% of bacteria reside on the tongue, scraping can help keep you healthy and reduce allergy symptoms.
Understand that when you experience unpleasant symptoms your body is temporarily out-of-balance. Allergies and asthma are not necessarily a lifetime condition if you are diligent and disciplined with your diet and lifestyle. If I could rid my body or greatly reduce them, you can too!