4 ways to help your body get through the hay fever season
The dreaded hay fever season is fast approaching…Experiencing a sniffly nose and watery eyes may be all too familiar for many people. However, there is a lot you can do using natural remedies or dietary changes, making it easier for you to enjoy your summer without having to stay indoors. To reduce the severity of your symptoms it is best to prepare yourself a month or two before the hay fever season starts.
Hayfever is characterised by an allergic reaction to pollen, which triggers an allergic immune reaction in the body, it can affect up to 1 in 5 people. This can cause symptoms including sneezing, itchy eyes or mouth and, fatigue. Most of the over the counter hayfever treatments block the histamine response but may have unwanted side effects such as drowsiness and irritability.
Here are some alternative tips that will prepare you for the hayfever season:
Quercetin is a flavanoid found in plants and is known for its many beneficial effects by acting as an anti-inflammatory, an anti-viral and a potent antioxidant. It has been shown in studies to significantly inhibit the allergic immune response (lowering histamine) and decreasing inflammation. It may be beneficial for allergic inflammatory diseases such as: asthma, sinusitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Try eating foods that contain quercetin : Onions, broccoli, apples, dill, black tea, grapes and raspberries.
Nettle commonly found in your garden and sometimes viewed as a weed and of course, the plant that stings. However, this plant has a whole host of medicinal properties and may even help in reducing hayfever symptoms. Although when touched nettle creates a histamine response, when ingested it can alleviate allergic symptoms. A study of 69 participants showed that nettle rated higher than the placebo in reducing allergic symptoms. Nettle tea is a great way of getting the benefits of nettle into your diet, not to mention it also boasts an impressive range of vitamins and minerals including iron.
3. Avoiding histamine foods
Some people may find that avoiding high histamine foods can be beneficial to their allergies. Some foods and drinks like alcohol, dark chocolate, tomatoes and dairy products can contain high levels of histamine which may lead to worsening of symptoms. A good tip for avoiding histamine foods is the fresher the food the lower the histamine e.g. avoiding preserved, tinned, smoked, pickled or fermented foods. However, some great foods to increase during the hayfever season are omega-3 rich foods, berries, leafy greens, turmeric, garlic, local honey and of course foods that contain quercetin.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C, commonly taken as a cold preventative is well known for when you’re feeling under the weather, by helping to boost your immune system. Interestingly, research shows that low vitamin C levels have been associated with higher histamine levels. Studies show that 125mg twice daily can help to reduce histamine levels.
High vitamin c foods: Peas, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, strawberries, blackcurrants, parsley and thyme.
Viridian has a great supplement that contains quercetin, nettle and vitamin C plus many other great nutrients that are available at the Treehouse 2. This may offer relief as an alternative to taking conventional anti-histamines.
Always consult your doctor if you’re on any medication before taking a food supplement.