Trees are starting to bud, grass is turning green, dandelions are popping up...and a vast majority of us are dealing with sneezing, dry eyes, and mucus because of it! While over-the-counter allergy drugs can help alleviate these annoying symptoms, there are some things we can do to reduce histamines naturally during allergy season.
What are Histamines?
Histamine is a chemical reaction released by mast cells in the body when dangerous pathogens are detected. Unfortunately for those dealing with allergies, the body will mistaken unharmful substances like pollen for something harmful, and will work on expelling it from the body (think drippy nose, watery eyes). Histamines are super important as they trigger the immune system when something's not right, but they can get a bit out of control sometimes!
Like building blocks, histamines can accumulate in the body during the day. The DAO enzyme is responsible for histamine elimination, but DAO enzyme activity can diminish, leading to a surplus of histamines. Overuse of alcohol, antibiotics, and bad bacteria overgrowth in the gut can lessen DAO enzyme activity. If you struggle with allergy symptoms year-round, chances are you are dealing with histamine intolerance!
Reduce Histamines Naturally
Whether you deal with allergies in the spring, fall, or year-round, finding ways to naturally reduce histamine production may provide some further relief. Here are 3 ways to reduce histamines naturally!
1. Reduce High Histamine Foods: Believe it or not, there are several foods - including healthy ones - that naturally contain histamines. Fermented foods (kombucha, sauerkraut), alcohol, dairy products, avocado, deli meat, and even shellfish are considered high histamine foods. Does this mean you can never have avocado again? Heck no! As mentioned, histamines accumulate like building blocks in the body, so be mindful of overconsuming these foods during the day.
2. Choose Lower-Intensity Workouts During Allergy Season: Aerobic exercise (exercise that significantly increases heartrate, such as running or HIIT) is known to increase histamine response in the body. While studies show this is beneficial for our muscles and cardiovascular system, it can worsen symptoms for those dealing with allergies. Lower-intensity workouts - like lifting weights, walking, and yoga - may reduce histamine accumulation. Does this mean you can never go running? Again, no! If you get spring allergies, maybe switch up your exercise routine for a month or two. If you're a HIIT fanatic, focus on other ways to reduce histamine levels.
-Vitamin C helps with more than just a cold! Vitamin C can also reduce allergy symptoms due to high histamine levels, all while enhancing the immune system.
- Stinging Nettle is an herb known to lessen histamine activity in the body. Stinging nettle can also reduce other types of inflammation, and may be beneficial for those dealing with arthritis or skin conditions.
- Quercetin directly inhibits histamine production in mast cells, making it a superstar choice for those struggling with allergies. Quercetin has a stronger potency when combined with Bromelain (phytochemical found in pineapple).
*Some supplements and herbs may react with medication, so as always, talk with your doctor before taking a new supplement.
Whether you're looking for a low histamine meal plan or shopping for antihistamine supplements, your local SFL has your back! Click below to find your nearest location!