Here are some ways you can manage your allergies so you can live with greater health and freedom:
- Create a healthy home environment. Make your home a haven in which your body can rest from its work resisting allergy-inducing substances you encounter elsewhere. Install an electrostatic air filter in your heating and air conditioning system, keep carpeting and draperies to a minimum and clean them frequently, adjust the humidity to proper levels, and choose pets that don't have dander that makes you sick (for example, if you're allergic to cats, consider owning fish or a bird instead).
- Adjust your diet. Spend at least 14 days eliminating a specific food or food additive from your diet if you suspect it's inducing your allergies. Keep a notebook during that time to record changes you notice in your body, then study it to help you discern whether the eliminated food or food additive is the culprit. If so, permanently avoid it. Also, seek to strengthen your immune system through healthy food choices. Try to have 40 percent of your daily calories come from carbohydrates (especially fruits and vegetables rather than breads and pastas), 30 percent from protein (especially plant protein such as soy rather than animal protein), and 30 percent from healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts.
- Supplement your diet with vitamins, minerals, and herbs. But always tell your physician what supplements you're taking, how often, and in which amounts, because some supplements can interact with pharmaceutical drugs.
- Develop a regular exercise routine to increase your physical resilience.
- When you encounter substances that induce your allergies, remove yourself from that environment as soon as possible. If someone standing next to you at a party is wearing a perfume that makes you sneeze and gives you a headache, leave the room quickly. If you walk and get covered with pollen, take a shower and change your clothes as soon as you arrive home.
- Drink plenty of water each day.
- Prevent or overcome mental stress through positive thinking.
- Practice spiritual disciplines such as regular contemplative prayer and Bible reading.
Adapted from Managing Your Allergies: Natural Remedies for Better Living, copyright 2002 by David Hazard. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or. Buy this book online by clicking on the link below, or ask for it at your local Christian bookstore.
David Hazard is an award-winning author and founder of The New Nature Institute, which is dedicated to studying the use of Christian spiritual disciplines and natural remedies to maintain well being or promote healing. He lives with his family in northern Virginia.
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