Lunch time is a perfect chance to take a step back from the work bench and let your thoughts carry you wherever they may. To give your brain a bit of a prompt during a sluggish work day, “Food for Thought” is here to offer the mind an adequate serving of information. Bon appetite!
Today's Special: Fighting Summertime Allergies
The dog days of summer are here, and with it come the season's last hurrah of days at the beach, cooking over a grill, and the thrill of an ice cold beverage on a hot afternoon.
Unfortunately, the end of August is also prime season for allergens such as pollen and ragweed, bringing a new meaning to that Bananarama song "Cruel Summer" for many.
While over the counter nasal sprays and pills can help, fighting allergies can be as simple as cleaning up after yourself at the end of the day. Here are a few ways to give your symptoms an extra kick out the door and let you enjoy a little bit more time in the sun.
Wash and Clean:
It can be a dark omen to come out to a car covered in pollen in the morning, especially if coughing and sore throats are no stranger to you at this time of year.
While a car wash keeps your ride shinning like new, it also rinses away allergy triggering spores that latch onto it as you go about your day. Taking a vacuum to the carpets once a week removes anything that made its way into the car when the doors and windows were open.
As with cars, allergens can hitch a ride on shirts and pants, and be a pain as the day goes by. Keeping a fresh change of clothes handy, or avoiding wearing the same outfit for days on end prevents breathing in day old pollen on your favorite t-shirt. Just be sure not to let laundry sit in damp basements or in the washer for too long after the rinse cycle is over since mold spores thrive in these places.
Lastly, washing hands before and after meals can rid germs and bacteria, but also wash away any allergens that you may have come in contact with.
Although it may be hard to see the link between what you choose to eat and how many times you sneeze in an hour, food can play a critical part in fighting allergies depending on what nutrients you consume throughout the day.
A glass of orange juice to kick off the day, or a whole grapefruit with lunch can curb the sniffles thanks to the natural antihistamines in Vitamin C. Meeting the daily recommended dose of the vitamin can combat runny noses and keep mucous levels down. If you're not a fruit fan, try our Moringa extract for a portable, tasty dose of Vitamin C.
Avoiding junk food during allergy season can also help by allowing the body to function at full speed instead of becoming sluggish from processing excessive carbs, sugars, and salts. Looking for anti-inflammatory foods such as fresh veggies, fruits, walnuts, and fish oil can also bring a bit of relief by providing more tools for the body to use to fight allergies.
Smoke 'em Out:
Well, perhaps not smoke, but steaming out sinuses and nasal cavities is an easy way to keep allergies at bay. While a hot shower may be one of the most effective ways to breath in steam, it isn't always the most practical.
Second to hot showers, a portable vaporizer is a powerful little device that heats water to its boiling point and allows the user to inhale the steam produced. A hot wet towel draped over the face can also act as a quick solution if bringing a vaporizer to the office is not a possibility.
Certain scented products such as eucalyptus oil and menthol can clear out sinuses as well. Adding a few drops of either to a hot towel as mentioned above can strengthen the effect of the steam and damp cloth. Packing mint leaves in the towel as you breathe is a good alternative to oils if you have access to them.
Menthol can also be found in teas, including peppermint. Between drinking the tea itself and breathing in the steam as it goes down, teas can be a fast relief to sore throats. Peppermint and echinacea teas are great choices, however, avoid chamomile as it has similar properties to ragweed and can increase allergy symptoms in those affected by it.