According to the World Allergy Organisation (WAO), 20-30 percent of India’s population currently suffers from one or more allergic disorders, and this number is likely to increase in the future due to the rapid changes in the country’s biodiversity coupled with sedentary lifestyles.
A lot of us start struggling with symptoms such as sniffling, sneezing and itchy eyes when the season changes, especially at the onset of spring. The triggers behind these seasonal allergies might include dust, pollen, animal dander and air pollution. Your body overreacts to these harmless substances in the environment to cause allergies, primarily because your weak immune system mistakes them for a virus or bacteria and starts fighting them off by releasing histamine (an allergic compound).
What do you in such a situation? Taking standard over-the-counter medication might seem like the easiest thing to do when allergy strikes. But, experts believe that a healthy diet and correct nutrition can help boost the immunity and avoid the risk of allergies without having to deal with unwanted side effects like drowsiness or dizziness. Thus, eating nutritious food or taking immunity-enhancing supplements should be the first step towards building an allergy-proof foundation for your body.
Here are a few recommended supplements that you can add to your diet to have a better chance at dealing with allergens and support your overall immune function:
A natural antihistamine found in onions, apples, citrus fruits, wine and other produce, quercetin is a potent solution against allergy attacks. It keeps mast cells, a type of white blood cells, from releasing histamine during an allergic reaction; thereby, reducing its inflammatory symptoms. A daily dose of 600-800 mg quercetin through food or supplements is needed for allergy-alleviating action.
Omega-3 fatty acids, or EPA and DHA, contain anti-inflammatory properties that make it a potential solution for combatting allergies, especially the ones related to the skin like eczema. Its deficiency is known to increase the risk of allergy symptoms such as asthma, according to studies. You can obtain these nutritious fatty acids from fish, walnuts or supplements containing fish oil or flaxseed oil.
Several experts swear by probiotics for allergy relief as it helps maintain the health of the gut, which houses 70% of the immune cells in your body. Whether you ingest probiotics through yogurt or take supplements such as GNC Ultra Probiotic Complex, it can aid in improving your immune system and reducing the effect of inflammatory chemicals released during an allergic reaction.
Commonly found in many fruits and vegetables and in supplements, Vitamin C is the best solution to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies owing to its natural antihistamine properties. High doses of this vitamin can help reduce the release of symptom-producing histamines in the body. For effective results, take 200-400 mg of Vitamin C per day starting a few weeks before the allergy season.
If you’re prone to seasonal allergies, it is important for you to remember that supplements such as GNC Vitamin C work best when taken in advance and not after the symptoms flare up. So plan ahead and get your supplements now before your nose starts dripping or eyes start to itch!