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Eat, Breathe, Smile: Manage Your Allergies with Smart Food Choices
It is never easy dealing with a chronic condition, especially one that is as sneaky as allergies that affect more than 50 million people in the US alone 1. Learning how to manage your allergies is so complicated because nobody knows why allergies happen. Moreover, there is no cure.Sufferers can only manage symptoms and try to stay away from substances that cause problems. That can be especially difficult when it comes to pollen, dust, or insects, as those are all around us. Let’s take a look at some effective ways to manage your allergies so you can breathe easier and live healthier.
Potential Problems When You Manage Your Allergies
Allergies are your immune system’s response to something that is basically harmless like grass, eggs, or a bee sting. For those who are lucky, this will mean a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, but for those who will end up in the ER fighting for every breath, the whole situation becomes much more sinister.
Allergies are sneaky. They can often happen suddenly and without any warning. Unfortunately for us, there is a rise in adult-onset allergies all over the world.Dr. Ruchi Gupta of Northwestern University told Living Allergic,
“We are now able to estimate that 32 million Americans have food allergies. When you compare that to the previous estimate of 15 million, the significance of this emerging disease becomes obvious 2.”– Dr. Ruchi Gupta to Living Allergic
There are many theories out there as to why people in the modern world suffer from allergies, including:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Heavily-Processed Foods
- Too Much Hygiene
Unfortunately, there are triggers everywhere. That’s what makes it so difficult to manage your allergies. Sadly, these road blocks will cause people to rely on quick fixes. It’s easier to pop a pill than try holistic approaches.
How to Manage Your Allergies Naturally
The first line of defense is usually to take medication such as Claritin or Benadryl or to start lengthy and more effective immunotherapy 3. Still, sufferers can certainly do more instead of taking pills and receiving injections.
Ditch Potential AllergensAs silly as it might sound, especially to those who suffer from food allergies, changing your diet might be one of the first steps you need to take to manage your allergies. Naturally, you have to avoid food that is causing you trouble (no matter how much you might love it). Avoiding potential allergens will help prevent inflammation, essentially making your gut healthy.
Try to steer clear of:• Gluten
With a healthier gut, you can fight allergies more effectively 4. Once you manage your allergies, slowly introduce potential allergens back into your diet plan. Start with culpirts that are least likely to cause allergies, such as lectins and nightshades. Sadly, dairy and/or gluten might have to go forever.
Find Alternatives that Work for You
Making small tweaks when it comes to your diet could boost that renegade immune system of yours. Imagine a child having a tantrum, and then suddenly, a plate of yummy cake appears—it really does wonders. Now, replace that chocolate cake with a healthier version such as carrot cake (just as delicious), and you are on the right path to fight your condition on multiple fronts.
Trying to manage your allergies isn’t as easy as swapping out dessert on a child. For many, it’ll be a complete meal haul over. For instance, vegans going lectin-free might hit some road bumps. However, there are plenty suitable plant-based proteins out there, such as avocados, coconuts, and hemp seeds.
For meat-eaters, a significant cause of allergic reactions may be caused by the sources. Try to cut back on omega-6-rich meats, such as beef and lamb. Too many fatty meats can cause inflammation in the system, sparking allergies. Instead, opt for lean protein, such as poultry, fish, and plants.
Lastly, double check to make sure your meat is raised humanely. You want to ensure the livestock aren’t treated with antibiotics and hormones. Otherwise, you will ingest these particles, making it harder to manage your allergies.
Cut Out the Convenience
We live in a fast-paced society. Sadly, we often eat fast food because it is just that—fast and convenient.
Also, we commonly disregard how easy choices affect our health.
We’re naive about how diet can make it challenging to manage your allergies.
A study conducted by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) found,
It is not easy to face the fact that most of us let this part of our lives slide because we have so many things to accomplish in a day that we compromise in areas where we should not—our daily diet.
“People who regularly ate fast food had significantly higher rates of asthma, hay fever or allergic, itchy skin rashes (eczema). The consumption of hamburgers in particular was associated with severe asthma or acute shortness of breath. Those who ate hamburgers at least three times a week had a significantly higher risk than those who only had them once or twice a week. 5.”– European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF)
Eat the Rainbow
By hitting the brakes and taking a long, hard look at what we eat, a pattern is likely to emerge. Ask yourself some hard-hitting questions and see how you respond.
- How many fruits and vegetables have we and the members of our family eaten this week?
- What variety of colors and types of foods do you see on your plate?
- How much packaged goods, such as salt products and sweets, do you consume per week?
Instead of just taking that Claritin first thing in the morning because your nose is already running, why not try and eat the rainbow of healthy and delicious food? These dietary choices will give you a wide-range of antioxidants that will boost your immune system.
Take a spoonful of raw honey that can make you less sensitive to pollen. Fresh, organic vegetables such as cabbage, Swiss chard, carrots, and sweet potatoes can help you fight symptoms of hay fever and soothe inflammation. Variety on the plate will make the immune system more robust and make it easier to manage your allergies.
Up the Spice
Learning how to manage your allergies naturally isn’t just about colorful and fresh foods. Spices are your friends too. This sentiment is especially true on those days when you are fighting nasal congestion.Make a delicious curry dish or chili con carne with fresh bell peppers and red kidney beans. Be sure to add plenty of chili powder, cayenne pepper, and garlic, as those will help unclog your sinuses. If you add a little bit of ginger to the mix, you will have a whole army of spices to help you finally take a deep breath.
ProbioticsUp to 80% of your immune system cells derive from your gut biome 6. Therefore, these defenders are in close quarters with your microbes. So, if your stomach is overtaken with harmful stomach bacteria, you have no defense to manage your allergies. Research shows that probiotic bacteria are essential in fighting allergies.
One analysis about probiotics and allergies found,
The best way to find the right probiotics to fight allergies is to figure out which stomach bacteria is already in your gut. You can performance this analysis by joining the Thryve Gut Health Program.
“Several randomized studies demonstrated that when Lactobacillus GG or placebo was given to pregnant mothers with a strong family history of eczema, allergic rhinitis, or asthma and to their infants for the first 6 months after delivery, the frequency of developing atopic dermatitis in the offspring was reduced in 2 years, 4 years, and 7 years by 50%, 44%, and 36%, respectively 7.”– Journal of the Chinese Medical Association
We will send you everything you need to discreetly and safely collect a sample. Mail it into us with the packaging we provide and we will test your intestinal flora.
Based on those results, we recommend a custom probiotic that will help fight off the harmful bacteria while supporting your immune system.
Manage Your Allergies Today
It is essential to keep in mind that knowledge is power. We live in the age of technology, where the right information is just a click away. By learning as much as possible about allergies, we can make smart choices and implement changes that can work alongside medication to help us battle the symptoms. A healthy diet and a healthy gut should be your priority, not just to better manage your allergies but to improve your quality of life.
Click Here To View Resources
- 1 Rakicevic, Mira. “Learn How to React: 90+ Allergy Statistics (Infographic).” DisturbMeNot!, 2 Oct. 2019, disturbmenot.co/allergy-statistics-infographic/.
- 2 Matti, Mariam. “Study Finds Doubling of Adult Food Allergy: 5 Important Takeaways.” Allergic Living, 9 Oct. 2019, www.allergicliving.com/2019/01/16/study-finds-doubling-of-adult-food-allergy-5-important-takeaways/.
- 3 “Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy): AAAAI.” The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 10 Feb. 2020, www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/allergy-shots-(immunotherapy).
- 4 Fujimura, K. E., & Lynch, S. V. (2015). Microbiota in allergy and asthma and the emerging relationship with the gut microbiome. Cell host & microbe, 17(5), 592–602. doi:10.1016/j.chom.2015.04.007
- 6 Vighi, G., Marcucci, F., Sensi, L., Di Cara, G., & Frati, F. (2008). Allergy and the gastrointestinal system. Clinical and experimental immunology, 153 Suppl 1(Suppl 1), 3–6. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x
- 7 Tang, Ren-Bin, et al. “Can Probiotics Be Used to Treat Allergic Diseases?” Journal of the Chinese Medical Association, No Longer Published by Elsevier, 6 Jan. 2015, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1726490114003074.