The Kleenex Chronicles

It’s spring time in Texas and if you’re taking to the open road on your motorcycle or hitting the street training for marathons and local fun runs you need to be prepared for seasonal allergies and weather conditions that can cause dry itchy eyes and skin. Temperatures are warming up and trees are rolling out new foliage that is steadily increasing the areas pollen count while the sun is now able to give that subtle sun burn when we least expect it. While most people will first think to grab a bottle of over the counter allergy medicine or eye drops to relieve dry eyes or topical creams to moisturize sun beaten skin you should know that there are dietary supplements that can help with these symptoms that also support your general health and wellbeing.

Dry eyes and skin can occur from living in certain climates, changes in the environment as well as when our participation in outdoor activities increase. The lack of Omega-3’s and healthy oils in the foods we eat on a regular basis can directly impact how our body responds to inflammation and the balance of fluids within and around our cells. With so much emphasis on reducing fats from our diet, most consumers interpret this as a directive to remove all fats from their diet. Naturally occurring tears are composed of more than just water, and in fact contain proteins, mucus, salts and certain types of fats called Omega-3’s. Together, all of these elements help to lubricate and protect the eyes. If there is an imbalance or shortage of any one of these ingredients it can increase the likeliness that irritants in the environment will have a negative impact, resulting in the symptoms of dry eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally occurring fats found in certain plants like flax seed and in fish like salmon and cod. These fats play an important role in supporting healthy supple looking skin, neurological and cardio vascular functioning. It is suggested that at least three servings of fish be eaten a week or daily supplementation of 1000mg of Omega-3 be taken daily.

Natural substances from fruits and vegetables that have also shown to positively support the body’s response to inflammation occurring from multiple sources includes Quercetin, Stinging Nettles, Bromelain and the amino acid N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC). Quercetin is found in onions and is a potent natural flavonoid shown to inhibit certain compounds that typically affect the sinus. Stinging Nettles has demonstrated both promising mechanisms and clinical results for supporting nasal passageway health by assisting in the process of drying up excessive mucus. Bromelain is an enzyme from pineapple that has been proven to support normal mucosal tissue functioning which is why it is used by many physicians in response to joint inflammation, wound care and the increased production of mucus from within the sinuses. N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC) has been shown to reduce the viscosity or thickness of mucus. While you may still need to grab a box of allergy medicine for temporary relief of seasonal allergies or sunscreen, take a look at ways you can improve your diet that will improve your overall health and the quality of time you spend outdoors.

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