Now that spring is officially here, allergies have also started in full swing. The pollen seems to blanket everything we see – along with our nasal passages and lungs.

I just taught a Pilates class and a sound of consistent throat clearing was our background music.

We can’t escape the pollen, but we can support our immune system and do some preventative care to combat a full blown allergy attack.

You first want to support your immune system with vitamin C (strawberries and spinach), vitamin D (salmon and tuna), iron (chicken and kale), selenium (tuna and cottage cheese), and zinc (yogurt, and chickpeas). There also are a few natural ingredients that can help your body reduce inflammation such as turmeric, cinnamon, nettle leaf, ginger root and ginkgo leaf.

You can include some natural decongestants such as peppermint, licorice root, and sage in your diet. Along with eating or making teas of the above ingredients, you can also use a diffuser and breathe in oregano, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and rosemary oils.

Prior to diffusing, I like to clean out my sinus passages with a store-bought can of saline spray. I also use the saline spray in the morning before my day and at night before I fall asleep. If all else fails, your allergist can prescribe a medication to reduce the effect that the allergens have on your body.

Take the below preventative measures to avoid and minimize allergens as much as possible.

• Stay indoors during periods of high local pollen count and windy conditions. You can find the local pollen count on pollen.com/forecast/current/pollen/29910  (place your zip code at the end).

• Make an appointment with an allergist who can identify the allergen that is causing you misery and suggest some protocols on how to avoid that allergen. Once the allergen is identified, it will make it easier for you to avoid it.

• If you must go out, when you come in, change clothes and take a shower.

• Inside closed doors, also keep your windows shut, and use either your air conditioning unit or a HEPPA purifier to filter out allergens.

• Use indoor plants to help filter out the air, but remember to take them outside and wash them down once in a while to remove the dust they have collected.

• Use an allergy mattress cover and wash your bedding often.

• As much as possible, reduce carpet; if this is not possible, vacuum it often.

I hope the above information will help you enjoy this beautiful spring to its fullest. Just remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Holly Wright of Bluffton is a Reiki Master, reflexologist, NASM certified personal fitness trainer, and co-owner of Trinity TheraSpa in Moss Creek Village. trinitytheraspa.com