The changing of seasons can be an exciting and energetic time. From flowers blooming to baby birds chirping, we feel the buzz of spring upon us. However, with seasonal changes comes added stress on ones immune system, especially if we take the time change into account and the resulting sleep loss.
When the weather warms up we have trees and flowers blooming, and the subsequent pollen release, in addition to the ground thawing, which can release dormant mold spores. Both can contribute to those pesky allergy symptoms we attribute to springtime. The itchy and runny nose and eyes, nasal congestion, headaches and fatigue are some of the common symptoms one may experience at this time. This is due to the increased activation of our mast cells, a type of white blood cell, that triggers histamine release. Histamine is what is responsible for most of our allergy symptoms, hence antihistamine medications being so successful in treating seasonal allergies.
What are some things you can do to prepare for the pending spring awakening? First, start increasing your vitamin C intake via supplementation or vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C has been well studied for its ability to stabilize and decrease histamine release, thus helping to decrease or prevent allergy symptoms all together. Some vitamin C rich foods include kiwi, white potatoes with the skin on, lemons, leafy greens like spinach, mango, bell peppers, and of course citrus. In addition to these foods being high in vitamin C, they are also high in bioflavonoids, which give fruits and vegetables their bright colors, that are known to work synergistically with vitamin C for increased effectiveness. This is one reason I like to recommend functional foods over supplements, as supplements tend to isolate a single nutrient and these synergistic activities are lost.
Whenever we’re talking about immune support, we must always go back to the basics. Hydration, sleep and exercise need to be a daily focus to maintain optimal function. Hydration is essential to aiding in clearing waste and metabolites from your system, which can increase your toxin load and burden your immune system. Also, sleeping is one of our greatest times of cellular regeneration in our body and when our digestion is working overtime to process and eliminate. If you’re not getting the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep a night, then a visit with a naturopathic doctor or other holistic practitioner can help you get to the root cause of your sleep disturbances. To tie these both together is exercise! Our lymphatic system doesn’t have a propelling pumping mechanism like our heart does for our blood vessels, so lymphatic movement relies on muscles contracting around them to create the pumping mechanisms. Your body does a great job or gathering waste, but if your living a sedentary life then you’re not optimally ridding your body of it. If you want to optimize any of these aspects of your life and enjoy spring season to the fullest, please contact us at Vital Origins to do so! Happy spring!