1. Make a stay-strong grocery list. Dark leafy vegetables, 100 per cent whole grains, unsaturated fats and lean protein boost immune strength. And avoid pollen allergy co-conspirators: 70 per cent of those with allergies to birch or alder trees also get an itchy, swollen mouth from celery, cherries and apples. And 20 per cent with a grass allergy react to tomatoes, potatoes or peaches. Cooking them may quell irritants, or leave them off your menu.

2. Get a great air filter. Whole-house systems with HEPA air filters are most effective. Stand-alone room filters have to pump out a lot of pollen-free air to make a difference, but do help.

3. Create a safe(er) zone — the bedroom. Shut windows to minimize pollen on upholstered furniture and surfaces. Take shoes off at the doorway, and keep pets out — their coats can get loaded with pollen. Avoid compounding seasonal allergies with a dust mite allergy: Use 1 micron allergy-proof pillow cases and mattress pads.

4. Stay fresh. Take a shower and wash your hair before bed to remove accumulated pollen.

5. Get an allergy checkup to ID what’s getting You. Consider allergy shots to reduce sensitivity to specific pollens. Also consider antihistamines, if needed. Then head out for a healthy dose of springtime physical activity.



March 26, 2012