Many Americans –over 50 million– face the changing of the seasons from Winter to Spring with a high-level of dread.
Even the strongest of men and women can be impacted by poor immune health, affecting even the simplest tasks of their everyday lives. However, seasonal sufferers can find solace in knowing that a few minor tweaks to their diet and lifestyle may help.
The Root Cause
An overactive immune system responds to elements that are not inherently dangerous to the human species. This type of response occurs when an immune system is out of balance. When this takes place, the body starts to fight itself.
Attempting to bolster the immune system instead of balancing it can increase a person’s sensitivities rather than eliminate them. Balancing one’s immune system starts deep within ourselves, as the flora in our gut plays a significant role in determining our immunity to seasonal elements. Food choices and supplements play a primary role, along with lifestyle factors such as stress and exercise.
If an individual has sensitivities to any types of foods, the seasonal shift from winter to spring and from summer to fall would be the times of year to avoid them. Reducing known stressors to the immune system can mean the difference between a flare up and passing through the transition unscathed. Food sensitivity tests can help to narrow these down and avoid unnecessary strain on the body.
Stress plays a significant role in triggering immune and inflammatory responses. Something as simple as making a conscious effort to understand the stress in one’s life can create a substantial impact on dissipating it. Activities, such as exercise, mindfulness, meditation and social connections with family, friends and the community also work wonders in naturally mitigating stress. This, in turn, aids a person’s overall health and immunity.
Quercetin: Mother Nature’s Histamine Regulator*
Histamine plays a significant role in the immune system's response to invaders. When the mast cells of the body detect stress or danger they will release histamine. The histamine floating around in the blood causes swelling and redness.
Many people choose supplements like quercetin, a bioflavonoid that stabilizes the cell membrane, to help with this response.* They act to control the release of histamine and therefore combating an occasional runny nose and itchy eyes.* Quercetin is a readily available supplement, but you have to take a lot of it for it to be effective. 1 to 3 pills, 3 to 4 times a day is the recommended dosage. Its effectiveness can be boosted by taking it alongside vitamin C. 250 or 500 mg of vitamin C taken with each dose of Quercetin can greatly improve its impact.
Updating Your Regimen
Local honey contains many of the local pollens that a person could develop a reaction to, and inoculating oneself with it works wonders.
As mentioned, the bacteria present in our intestines can impact our seasonal immunity. A healthy diet complemented by supplements is pivotal in maintaining a proper balance of the flora in our gut.*
Probiotics combined with cultured and fermented foods are the first step to improving the flora in your intestines.* These help to balance immunity while also preventing leaky gut, which in turn aids the body’s resistance.* Fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kimchi, and yogurt are all types of food that help to maintain this balance. Bone broth is also a vital component for a healthy stomach. Integrating even half a cup of homemade bone broth into your diet 3-4 times a week can go a long way for addressing stomach issues.
A healthy diet is full of fresh fruits and vegetables and will help to maintain the biome within your intestines. A healthy diet should consist of 2-3 pieces of fruit a day along with 8-10 servings of vegetables. Incorporating all of these into three meals a day may seem overwhelming to begin with, but it quickly becomes second nature. And your health will thank you for it!
As far as supplements are concerned, fish oil is your first line of defense. Fish oil contains healthy fats which benefit the cardiovascular system as well as the body’s immune response.* In turn, fish oil can help bolster your regime and prepare your body to face the outdoor season. Bromelain, a supplement derived from pineapple is another go-to option. It's an enzyme that helps to keep mucus thin while also acting to support a healthy inflammatory response.*
The most popular supplement for occasional stuffy nose and itchiness, however, goes by the Latin name of Urtica Dioica, or stinging nettles, as it’s more commonly known.* Nettles are incredibly helpful because of its bioflavonoid content. In this sense, it works similarly to quercetin.
Understanding the body’s defense systems and catering to them is paramount and the correct combination of diet and supplements can produce excellent health.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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