Feeling stressed? Here are seven simple steps for breathing your way out of stress:
Sit in a comfortable, not-too-soft chair that lets you keep your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
Put your hands gently on your belly, right below your ribcage.
Ready to take a breath? Expand your belly, drawing breath in through your nose. When you do this right, you'll feel your hands move slightly.
Don't hold your breath. Open your mouth a little. Slowly let your belly contract, gently...
1. Onions, peppers, berries, and parsley all have quercetin. That's a natural plant chemical, says Elson Haas, MD, who practices integrative medicine. This chemical may reduce “histamine reactions,” he says. Histamines are part of your body's allergic response.
2. Kiwi is a fuzzy fruit rich in vitamin C. It can also cut down on histamines. You can get C from lots of foods, including oranges and other citrus fruit.
3. Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain, which can reduce irritation in allergic diseases such as asthma, says Lawrence Rosen, MD.
4. Tuna, salmon, and mackerel have omega-3 fatty acids. Those can help lower inflammation. Go for two servings of fish every week. A study from Japan found that women who ate more fish had lower levels of hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis.
5. Kefir is a yogurt drink that has probiotics. These are good-for-you bacteria that live in your gut. Rosen says they may help prevent and even treat seasonal allergies. You can get probiotics in fermented foods. Look for yogurts that say “live active cultures” on the label. Sauerkraut and kimchi are also good sources.
6. Local honey may help you head off allergies. “If you take small doses of the honey early in the season," Rosen says, "you may develop a tolerance toward pollen in your area.” One study found that people who ate birch pollen honey had fewer symptoms of birch pollen allergy than those who ate regular honey. It’s not a sure thing, but see if it works for you.