Spring is finally here, YAY! But, don’t break out the party hats just yet. While many of us are ready for the warm weather and sunshine that hopefully comes with the change of seasons, spring can carry a variety of health concerns that we should be aware of.
Concern #1 Allergies:
Let’s start with the first biggie: ALLERGIES! Allergens send the body’s immune system into overdrive, leading to allergy symptoms such as sneezing, a stuffy nose, and itching. Seasonal allergies occur mainly with pollen so we especially see the affects when plants, weeds, grasses and trees are in bloom during the spring. The good news is, there are things we can do that may help naturally!
- Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help possibly make symptoms more manageable. Having nutrient-dense foods boosts your immune system and helps to bring your body back into harmony, so it can more easily fight off common allergens.
Here’s some of our favorite anti-inflammatory foods:
-Dark Leafy Greens
-Nuts like Almonds, and Walnuts
- Use Local Honey : Taking a tablespoon of local, raw honey every day may help your body become accustomed to the local pollen that is driving your sinuses in overload.
- Try taking Stinging Nettle: Stinging nettle leaf has been shown for some to naturally control histamines. It has been suggested that nettles could possibly desensitize the body to allergens and decrease our reaction to the allergens over time.
Of course, if you suffer from allergies be sure to talk to your doctor or allergist about all your treatment options.
Concern #2 Hormones:
Another concern when seasons change is that we tend to also see hormonal changes. With long days, and more sunlight, the retina -the inner layer of the eye that connects to the brain through the optic nerve -naturally reacts triggering hormonal changes, including an adjustment in melatonin, a hormone that affects sleep cycles and mood change. In winter, the body secretes high levels of melatonin, come spring, the hormone’s level drops off, leading to increase wakefulness.
We also see that in spring levels of another chemical, serotonin, tend to rise. This mood-elevating neurotransmitter may be the cause for “spring fever” symptoms like increased giddiness, energy boost and enthusiasm .To balance out these hormonal changes try adding some of these hormone balancing foods.
- Probiotic foods: These help the good bacteria in your gut that are tied to your hormones.
- Healthy Fats: Fats including coconut oil, avocado oil, nuts/ seeds, and eggs all can help imbalances.
- Anti-oxidanct Rich Veggies: Look for dark leafy greens, and vibrant colored veggies which can help give the nutrients your body needs for proper balance.
Concern #3 Skin:
Your skin may also see the affects from the change in seasons. Spring’s warmer weather and high humidity can trigger the skin increase production of both sweat and oil. This tends to clog the pores leading to higher chance of breakouts. If you are prone to acne try carrying facial wipes or towelettes to gently remove sweat from the skin, also make sure to thoroughly clean your skin twice daily, and stay hydrated during the day.
The spring season is sometimes called “rosacea season” in dermatology offices. Increased exposure to the outdoors/ physical activity, sun, wind, and warm temperatures can trigger flare ups. To help reduce the occurrence of these symptoms make sure to wear SPF daily, and try not to do strenuous activity during the peak times (10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the sun is hottest).
Allergens can also be a problem for people who suffer with eczema. Pollen tends to find its way into the skin through pores which may stimulate the immune system to fight back causing eczema breakouts. Make sure to keep your skin moisturized and wear breathable loose clothing whenever possible. Certain fabrics can cling to your skin and trap in the usual sweat and bacteria, irritating your skin even more.
The rapid light and weather changes can really throw our bodies out of wack during spring, but with the right tools we can be prepared for anything! Spring is the season of change and the perfect opportunity to start fresh and be a better YOU mentally, physically and emotionally.