Did you know that more than 20% of the population suffers from seasonal allergies?
Allergies occur when our immune system reacts to something to which our organism is not accustomed to.
Sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and/or nasal obstruction, allergic coughing, hives and itching of the nose and throat are allergic reactions that affect more than 20% of the world’s population. These symptoms are usually seasonal, but this also depends on the person and the allergen.
But why do we have these reactions?
When we come in contact with the allergen, our body defends itself and has an excessive response, causing a cascade reaction by releasing histamine through mastocytes.
The main goal of this reaction is to get rid of this allergen and that is why the body reacts with the symptoms that we know so well.
And why does this happen?
Histamine binds to receptors in nearby blood vessels, causing their dilation. It also binds to other receptors located in the nasal tissues, causing swelling, itchiness, nasal obstruction and nasal discharge.
What causes high levels of histamine?
Our body naturally produces histamine to help the organism to defend itself and to protect the immune system. Histamine metabolism is determined by the Diamine Oxidase (DAO) enzyme, which plays an essential role in disseminating the histamine that we ingest in excess through food, harming our organism. Studies reveal that 95% of this enzyme’s activity takes place in the intestine.
If you have DAO enzyme deficiency, histamine will accumulate in your blood and this will aggravate your symptoms. This deficiency can result from inflammatory intestinal diseases, from taking medication that blocks DAO function and production, and from excessive consumption of histamine-rich foods.
What can we do to improve these seasonal discomforts?
As usual, diet is the starting point and, in this case, you should invest on a diet plan to control your body’s histamine levels.
Avoid foods that increase histamine levels:
Drinks – alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, energy drinks, black tea, green tea;
Fruits – banana, pineapple, tomato, kiwi, avocado, orange, papaya;
Vegetables – eggplant, spinach, beans, chickpeas;
Meat/Fish – meat (particularly pork), processed meat, seafood, smoked fish, canned fish;
Dairies – strong flavoured cheeses and milk;
Oleaginous foods – walnuts and peanuts.
What should you take?
Vitamin E 800 mg (daily)
Quercetin 1g daily
Probiotics – Lactobacillus gasseri and Bifidobacterium longum