Seasonal allergies can be a challenge to manage: You may be dealing with a combination of congestion and sneezing, as well as sinus pressure and watery, itchy eyes. Yet, over-the-counter antihistamines come with side effects - drowsiness and nausea among them - prompting many sufferers to seek out natural solutions. Learn what antihistamines do and the foods and supplements that can help you find relief naturally.
What Are Histamines?
Allergies are, in fact, an immune system response. When substances like pollen, dust or pet dander come into contact with cells present in your nose, mouth, throat, lungs, stomach or intestines, your immune system produces a reaction. Called "histamine activity," this results in cold-like symptoms: Along with congestion and sneezing, this can include a sore throat and itchy eyes. Antihistamines help halt this reaction and related symptoms.
Types of Natural Antihistamines
The following foods and supplements provide natural antihistamine properties:
Vitamin C is known as an immune system booster, as well as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance. Research shows that these factors not only help reduce the length of a cold and sources of oxidative stress, but can also help lessen allergy symptoms.
Sources of vitamin C include citrus, tomatoes, winter squash, kiwi, cauliflower, broccoli, strawberries and cantaloupe. Additionally, consider adding a supplement to ensure you're getting up to 2,000 mg per day. Our Allergy Defense formula also centers around vitamin C and adds vitamins B5 and B6, as well as other anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.
In dried form, this medicinal herb helps relieve allergy symptoms when taken orally. Options include supplements and teas.
Often working in conjunction with vitamin C, quercetin helps support your body's immune system and reduce its inflammatory response, which carries over to allergy-related symptoms. Along with quercetin supplements - Beyond Health offers a bromelain-free formula that's better absorbed by the body - natural sources include apples and onions.
Naturally found in pineapples, this enzyme can help with reducing inflammation and swelling - including your sinuses and airway in response to an allergic reaction.
Part of the daisy family, this plant has been known to reduce the intensity of migraine headaches, as well as nasal symptoms from hay fever. While plants are found in Europe, Asia and parts of North America, butterbur tends to be available as a supplement or concentrated into an oil.
Zinc functions as an anti-inflammatory. In terms of managing allergies and your immune system, this mineral in consistent low doses helps block the release of histamines and subsequent reactions.
Probiotics have an indirect effect on the body's immune system. Taking a supplement, as well as consuming probiotic-rich foods like kombucha and sauerkraut, helps balance the gut microbiome. As research shows an increasingly strong relationship between gut bacteria balance and your health, probiotics can assist with fortifying your immune system, which in turn reduces the histamine response. Helpful strains include:
- B. Longum, which increases amounts of butyrate in the gut and helps decrease immune response.
- L. Plantarum can also reduce histamine response and subsequent symptoms.
Along with adding more fermented foods to your diet, incorporate Beyond Health's high-quality, live Probiotic Formula supplement to help improve your gut health.