Updated: Nov 5, 2019
Just as the media is suggesting, start your hay fever and asthma prep now in preparation for the attack of allergies heading your way. Whether you're a seasonal sufferer or simply sensitive to our external world keep reading!
This season Victoria is expected to have the highest levels of pollen and if you’re not a fan of reaching for the corticosteroid sprays and antihistamines there are other ways to weather the storm.
The rising climate is playing a role in the increase of airborne pollens and allergens due to favouring plants growth with longer seasons and elevations of CO2 in the air fuelling growth.
The immune changes that are causing the hyper-reactivity to these pollens is what drives our symptoms like itchy eyes, sneezing, watery or congested nose & itchy throat etc. This is being caused by exaggerated IgE inflammatory responses. In this case, pollens trigger the immune system to send all their defences to the airways to protect us from harm, although for the most part, our life isn't on the line just because one little pollen got in. The over-reaction causes our airways to produce protective mucous, tears and reflexes like sneaking as a way of saying GET OUT OF HERE!
Underlying this, is the changes in immune cells, with the first stages mainly driven by histamine and later changes by cells called Th2.
Managing your Immunity ~
Here are some nutritional tips for managing those symptoms and cells causing havoc in your airways.
A strong antioxidant with anti-allergic actions. It is known for inhibiting histamine release and reducing inflammation. Quercetin can also manage the IgE reactions which are causing the symptoms of allergic/seasonal rhinitis. Additionally, quercetin will also decrease the Th2 cells which are causing those later effects.
Find it in - Onions & Shallots – outer layers, Apple – peels, Broccoli & Berries
1000mg twice a day of vitamin C can assist with antioxidant activity and assist in immune regulation. Like quercetin it also plays a role in limiting histamine release from immune cells.
Up your - Kiwi fruit, Oranges & Broccoli
A complete immune supporting nutrient. Most significantly helps keep our T cells in balance – in this case keeping those Th2 down. It has been a common finding that people with allergies and asthma are vitamin D deficient
Are you getting enough sun?
Eat these guys - Eggs, Tuna, Mackerel & Mushrooms, or supplementation at 1000IU/day.
Enzymes from fruit will assist in breaking up congestion assist in breathing. Bromelain from pineapple can assist as in this action as well as support anti-inflammatory effects to help reduce symptoms.
Breakfast additions – Pineapple & Grapefruit
What’s the pollen count today?
Melbourne University: Melbourne Pollen – count and forecast
The School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne offers a service that forecasts the level of pollen in the air. The forecast alerts those who suffer from hay fever and seasonal asthma of the likelihood of being exposed to high levels of grass pollen, enabling sufferers to take preventative measures in danger periods.