Q: Dr. Stanislaw, I love the warmer spring temperatures, but I'm dreading dealing with those awful allergy symptoms that I get every year. I don't want to keep taking all of these over-the-counter drugs. Are there natural ways to avoid allergies?
A: Excellent question. Not only are there natural ways, but natural modalities are healthier for you, and can be safer and more effective than OTC remedies.
In order to avoid spring allergy symptoms in these next few months and be able to enjoy being outside, you’ll want to take certain steps to ensure your health and energy levels are at their best. Spring is the perfect time to do some cleaning, not just inside your house, but inside your body as well.
Here are my top tips for ensuring your health is at its best this spring:
#1 – Prepare your body with the right foods and nutrients to fend off spring allergies. The first step in reducing springtime allergies is to avoid the following list of items which will make your symptoms worse: sugary foods, lack of fresh vegetables and fruit, not enough sleep, not enough/too much exercise, poor emotional health, processed foods, alcohol, and dehydration. Additionally, a diet high in dairy &/or wheat can increase phlegm production which can also worsen your symptoms.
The next step is to ensure your diet is full of nutrients specific to keeping your immune system from overreacting to spring pollens, specifically spinach, kale, green/red peppers, carrots, cabbage, apples, oranges, cranberries, almonds, seeds, ginger, and wild salmon.
Lastly, start on a supplement program which includes key vitamins, minerals, oils, probiotics, and herbs designed to optimize your immune system and thus eliminate your symptoms. My patients experience great relief from following my simple supplement recommendations.
#2 - Do A Simple Cleanse. You can’t see them but toxins are ubiquitous in today’s world and thus accumulate inside your body as well. Be they in the water, the sky, or the land, toxins are there. They aren't just outside either. Inside your home they are found in cleaners; vapors leaching from chemicals such as fire retardants in furniture and carpets; and the fragrances and chemicals used in shampoos, toothpaste, laundry soap, scented candles, and air fresheners (which are just chemicals). Toxins circulating in the body have been shown to be a key factor in worsening insulin resistance.
Additionally, unless you are eating organic foods, you’re regularly ingesting large amounts of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Sixty million pounds of pesticides are applied to U.S. crops annually.
Your liver plays a key role in detoxification. Anything that over-taxes your liver increases the toxin build-up in your body. In the case of alcohol, drinking over two drinks a day for men or one a day for women has been shown to cause excess liver stress.
Doing a simple 5 to 10-day, food-based cleanse will give you increased energy, clearer thinking, better moods, and improved quality of sleep. Even 5 days of eating a very clean diet, including a lot of vegetables can make a big difference.
First of all, the fiber you take in from eating vegetables is one of the greatest substances for binding and releasing toxins, not to mention, for also keeping the bowels moving (thus allowing the toxins to be released in the first place) and reducing after-meal blood sugar spikes. Secondly, just as it takes a lot of energy to clean out your garage, your body requires a lot of energy to clear out toxins. Thus keeping your calorie intake up is important. Lastly, eating very clean allows your body to undergo very thorough internal cleaning. But most importantly, you will likely feel better than ever after doing it!
Enjoy a healthy, energized, and vibrant spring!