Springtime is here! The flowers are blooming, the live oak trees are shedding old leaves, the temperatures are rising… and your allergies are becoming unbearable. For millions of people, the beautiful weather of spring brings the unwelcome plague of congestion, sore throats, and irritated eyes. While it’s impossible to completely avoid pollen and other substances that cause allergies, there are several steps you can take in order to reduce the impact of this seasonal nuisance.
Begin incorporating small doses of outdoor allergens into your diet. While it may seem counterintuitive, consuming small amounts of substances like locally sourced honey, basil and other herbs, or jasmine and chamomile tea will help your body develop a tolerance to the allergens prevalent in your area.
Reduce your intake of dairy products. Dairy may increase your production of mucus, which can amplify your discomfort if you are already congested due to allergies. Instead, swap out the dairy products for anti-inflammatory choices, like fruits and dark leafy greens.
Pay attention to pollen counts. Above-average levels will trigger allergy symptoms, so be sure to avoid spending time outside as much as possible on days when counts are high. In addition, going outside later in the day is usually better as many trees pollinate in the morning. Dry, windy days may also cause excess irritation—it is best to spend time outdoors after it rains and some of the pollen has been washed away.
Take a shower after being outside. Pollen may accumulate in your hair, skin, and clothing, and tracking it indoors will exacerbate your allergic symptoms. Minimize this effect by quickly getting changed, washing your clothing, and taking a shower once you come inside, as well as washing your linens at least once a week.