Histamines: Are They a Problem For You In Your Food

When you hear the word histamine, do you instantly think of seasonal allergies? Like those sneezes that inevitably come with spring when the pollen count is so high that your eyes are itchy and your nose is running.

You aren’t wrong to think of allergies when you hear “histamine” — but I also want to let you in on how histamines play a role in your food, too. Histamines are found in foods, with fermented foods among those with the highest in histamine content. Things like vinegar, yogurt, kimchi, soy products, canned foods, aged cheeses, processed meats, legumes, and alcohol all have the highest histamines. For most people, your body produces DAO, an enzyme that breaks down any excess histamine. Some don’t produce enough DAO to fully break down excess histamine in foods, which can lead to allergy-like symptoms.

For example…

– Those with gut health issues
If your gut function isn’t up to speed, it can impact the production of the DAO enzymes and won’t break down histamine properly. If you have celiac, Crohn’s, IBS, or other digestive issues, you may have reactions to histamines in the foods you eat.

– Having a DAO deficiency
Sometimes it’s genetics, while other times, it’s medications that can contribute to a lack of DAO enzymes. Therefore, it’s not always something we can control, but being aware of it is helpful. Whenever a DAO deficiency is present, the result is excess histamine in your system.

– Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
If you’re not eating enough foods that have vitamin C or B6, zinc, or copper, you might have reactions to histamines in your food.

For those in these groups, you may have allergy-like symptoms when eating foods high in histamine. Fortunately, the number of people in these groups is very rare. Still, if you are in that minority, you should have a chat with your doctor.

To experiment, you can go on a low-histamine regime for a short time, which will help build up your immunity and gut health. This should help to set things straight, but in the meantime, eliminating high-histamine foods and foods that inhibit your DAO enzymes can be beneficial for you.

You could try an experiment to see how you feel without high-histamine foods in your diet. After a month, you’ll slowly begin to reintroduce those high-histamine foods back in one at a time. While it may feel restrictive, the good news is that you can learn so much about your body with experimental elimination diets such as this. Once you learn to tune in and get to know how your body feels, how it responds to things, what’s normal and what isn’t for your unique body — you’ll begin to uncover what works BEST for you so you can live your optimal life full of energy and vibrancy.

Have you noticed any foods that simply don’t work for you? Let me know what those are for you.

Do you take your shoes off at the door?  Having a basket by your front door to slip your shoes in is a great way to keep germs from tracking through your house.  With the pollen out and allergy season in full swing — it’s also a great way to prevent pollen from being placed all around your home to irritate you.

If you don’t have a doormat outside of your front door, investing in a doormat to wipe your shoes on before entering your home can help lower the amount of debris getting into your home.  Using a doormat accompanied by leaving your shoes at the door, and your home should be well protected from all the germs lingering outdoors.

Do you take your shoes off at the front door?

 

 

Natural Ways to Help Spring Allergies

The daffodils are springing from the ground, and the sunshine is feeling a bit warmer with each passing day. Depending on where you live, you might even already be getting a touch of spring fever in the form of seasonal allergies.

Here come itchy, watery eyes and relentless bouts of sneezing. Do you suffer from spring allergies? Leave me a comment below if you dread the pollen. I do!!!

Need some relief but don’t want to be doped up on medication? I don’t blame you a bit. Here are some natural ways to get spring allergy relief.

1. Try butterbur
There’s nothing buttery about this plant, except that in the olden days, it was used to wrap butter. The extracts are great for relieving fever, nasal allergies, and headaches, working like an antihistamine without making you drowsy. You can drink it as a tea or take it in tablets.

2. Or stinging nettle leaf
Here’s another plant that has its roots in the olden days. Stinging nettle reduces the histamines in your body, making it a wonderful way to combat spring allergies. You can take it in the form of hot tea or capsules to relieve allergy discomfort.

3. Make an ACV drink
Apple cider vinegar benefits your overall health in so many ways. It’s excellent for adding probiotics to your gut which may play a role in keeping seasonal spring allergies at bay. Just add a capful of it to your water every morning as an ounce of prevention or for relief, and be sure to use the kind that says “with the mother” on the bottle.

4. Get more probiotics
Stuffy noses from allergies are a pain, but you can get some sweet relief with more probiotics. Take your probiotics daily for your best health and balance of immunity. You can take these in capsule form, while also trying probiotic rich foods like apple cider vinegar, kimchi, pickles, and sauerkraut, to name a few.

5. Make things steamy
If you don’t have a gym membership or access to a steam room, use your shower to help get you some allergy relief — the steam will clear out your sinuses. If you’re prone to allergies in the spring, it’s best you shower as soon as you get home and change your clothes immediately to get rid of the pollen from outdoors.

6. Use essential oils
Essential oil not only smells invigorating, but some can also help reduce inflammation. Some of my favorite essential oils to use during the spring are lemon, lavender, and peppermint. You can use a diffuser to let it waft around your space or rub some of it directly on your chest to help you breathe better.

7. Eat spicy food
Eating spicy foods can help keep your sinuses clear and get any pollen that may have accumulated out. Make sure to add plenty of onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, and chilis to your recipes this season to keep your nasal passages open.

Do you have any special tips for combating spring allergies that I haven’t talked about today? I’d love to hear any tricks you have up your sleeve, so drop them in the comments below!

The cold is almost out the door, and the warm weather is approaching. I’m sure you’re eager for the blooming flowers and sunny skies — I know I am.

One part of Spring I can skip is the watery, itchy eyes and sneezing fits.

Turning to over the counter medicine for seasonal allergies is common, but what if there were a way to combat these annoying symptoms without having to take medication. Wouldn’t that be great?

Here are some  natural remedies to help fight off seasonal allergies:

– Taking supplements such as quercetin and stinging nettle.  These are natural antihistamines and help combat those seasonal allergy symptoms.

– Keep up with your probiotics daily.

– Use a Neti Pot to keep your sinuses flushed.

– Essential Oils that help battle allergies such as lemon, lavender, and peppermint.

– If you feel an allergy attack coming on, head to your acupuncturist for a session.  This works wonders!

What are your typical spring allergy tricks?

 

Are you allergic to any foods?

Food allergies seem to be much more prevalent now than before, have you noticed that?

Some of the most common food allergies are tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk, shellfish, wheat, and soy.

Do you struggle with food allergies?

Why do you think food allergies are so much more common now?

 

How to Battle Spring Allergies Naturally

Springtime is most certainly a time of rebirth, but with that renewed natural beauty comes all the common allergies that leave our heads stuffy and our eyes itchy. Before that last thaw happens, follow these tricks to battling those spring allergies so you can truly smell
the roses and actually enjoy them!

Apple cider vinegar with the mother. Apple cider vinegar with the mother refers to the colony of beneficial bacteria that creates vinegar through a secondary process of fermentation. It helps break up the mucus in your body so you can breathe again. My favorite way to consume it is with hot water, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a dollop of raw honey. Give it a try.

Go for the pro. Probiotics that is. Keeping your gut bacteria healthy is another way to support your immune system and stop those pesky allergies from making you sneeze. Foods like sauerkraut and kimchi naturally contain them, and kombucha is a great drink to soak in the probiotic properties.

Use a nasal irrigation tool. Some people swear by it while others are afraid to try it out, but nasal irrigation can bring you intense relief. A standard way to make this happen is through use of a Neti pot or a bulb syringe. It’s useful for relieving hay fever symptoms,
but if you’re going to try it, make sure you do it right!

Hot steamy showers. Steam up the bathroom with the hottest water your shower can emit, then hop on in. It helps clear out your sinuses and also enables you to rinse away the pollen that has landed on you while you’ve been outdoors. Word to the wise though: hot water is incredibly drying for your skin so be sure to moisturize as soon as you towel off.

Use essential oils. In particular, eucalyptus, lemon, lavender and peppermint essential oils are revered for allergy relief and anti-inflammatory properties. Just add a few drops to your diffuser and put it in your room or office. You can also massage some onto your chest to breathe in the reinvigorating fragrance all day long.

Spice things up. Choose spicier foods to clear things up. You can eat foods with spicy peppers or onions and garlic, or combine pungent with spice for amazing results. These all thin out the mucus in your body.

Allergy season will soon pass by quickly, but if you suffer from allergy symptoms, it will feel like a much longer time until summer. Take care of your allergies with these easy tips to feel your best this spring!

Ways to Know Whether or Not that You’re Suffering from Adrenal Fatigue

There are many glands throughout your body that respond to different things. Of those glands, you may have heard of the adrenal glands which are for responding to stress. You know, the old “fight or flight” is all about your adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands send out hormones in our bodies to enact our flight or fight response, whichever one we care to choose in a given situation.

However, because stress in today’s world is much different than the stresses of our ancestors, we have something called chronic stress that lingers about for periods of time from months to years. It could be work, marriage, kids, and the fate of the world riding upon your shoulders but whatever it is, it’s causing you ongoing stress that never quits.

So what are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue? Some symptoms could include:

Fatigue that doesn’t go away even after adequate sleep, trouble falling asleep as well as waking up, excessive cravings for salt and sugar, weight loss without trying, dizzy spells, skin discoloration, rashes, or inflammation, allergies that you didn’t have before, and lack of focus.

But like many conditions, these symptoms are very vague. How do you know if you have adrenal fatigue? That’s the tricky part. There are no medical screenings to determine it as of yet. Your doctor can look for a condition called adrenal insufficiency which is a bit similar. The best course of action is to visit your doctor and make a few changes to your lifestyle to see if that makes a positive impact.

Start by eating better. Swap out processed foods for whole foods and ditch the sugars. Start incorporating supplements like fish oil, probiotics, and other vitamins that you might not be getting currently. For example, many people are magnesium deficient, and that can cause a slew of problems. Take steps to reduce your stress, and you should begin feeling better. Whatever you do, listen to your body. You know you and if you don’t feel like yourself, you should make sure you get checked out to eliminate the possibility that it’s something more serious.

My Tips for Getting Better Sleep

Everyone wants a restful, uninterrupted nights sleep.  There are few things in the world that bring the joy of waking up knowing the last night’s sleep has prepared you to conquer the day.

Here are my  tips on how to get a better nights sleep!

  1. Get in a Routine:  Do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day.  Your body’s clock will get in the routine of knowing when is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up, making it much easier to fall asleep at night and get up in the morning.
  2. Get off the Couch:  By regularly exercising, your body will benefit more from the sleep you get each night.  Exercise will also increase time spent in deep REM sleep, which is the most important part of the sleep cycle.
  3. Clean Up Your Diet:  By avoiding alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and large meals before bed, your body will thank you with a more restful sleep.  It will help you fall asleep faster and have a more regular sleep cycle.
  4. Meditate Before Bed:  By clearing your head of the distractions of everyday life, your body will be more at ease when you go to sleep.  Take a moment to yourself and focus on nothing.  It will relax you and prepare you for a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.
  5. Sleep in the Right Environment:  Make your bedroom a place of rest.  That means eliminating anything that makes unnecessary sounds, having a bed that fits your needs, whether it be firm or soft, and keeping your bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
  6. Avoid Long Naps:  Extended naps during the day can seriously mess with your sleep schedule.  Cap your nap at 15-20 minutes.  Those short power naps will energize you without causing you to still feel awake at bedtime.
  7. Kick Out the Pets:  When you let your bed sleep in your bed, you invite all kinds of obstacles to a good nights sleep.  You could react to pet allergies or have to deal with their movement throughout the night.
  8. Late Night Drinks:  Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or warm milk before bed.  Both of these contribute to either the production of or releasing of serotonin or melatonin, both crucial factors when falling asleep and staying asleep.

In order to get the most out of your sleep, you need to make it a priority.  When you make sleep your priority, you will end up feeling more refreshed throughout the day and will be more productive overall.  Here are just a few things you can do to make sleep a priority.

  • Take the time to look at how you sleep.  Is your bedroom a dark, safe, relaxing place?   Are your mattress and pillows comfortable?  Do they give you enough support?  If you find yourself saying “no” to any of these questions, it may be time to reevaluate your sleep environment.  On average, a mattress should be replaced every seven years and pillows should be replaced every year.
  • Look around your bedroom.  What distractors are there that keep you from getting the sleep you need?  Take out anything work related, especially things that create stress.  You should also avoid using your smartphone, laptop, tablet or television for at least an hour before bed as well.  The backlight in those objects lead to the release of chemicals that tell your body it is daytime, making it significantly harder to fall asleep.
  • Make sure that if you are going to drink caffeine, you don’t do it later in the day.  I try not to have any caffeine after lunch to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact my sleep.
  • While many think it’s no big deal to have a couple alcoholic drinks in the evening, alcohol can actually have a huge negative impact on the quality of sleep.
  • Take shorter naps!  It has been shown that taking 20-30 minute naps during the day can seriously increase your work productivity and alertness without disrupting your sleep schedule in any serious way.  So close that office door and kick back for a few minutes every afternoon!

There are many more ways to help improve sleep quality, but these are some of the most important.  If you are serious about improving sleeping habits, do more research to find out other ways you could be getting better, more effective sleep!

 

References

http://www.bettersleep.org/better-sleep/how-to-sleep-better/sleep-tips/

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-tips-to-get-better-sleep

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-better.htm