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HOW DIET AND NUTRITION INFLUENCE HAYFEVER

Updated: Jun 24




Hay fever is a common condition that occurs in spring and early summer due to the pollen from trees and certain grasses.

Hay fever is caused by an immune system reaction that is triggered when a person meets airborne particles such as pollen or dust mites.  The immune system deems these substances harmful to the body and then produces antibodies which signal the release of histamine.  This is a natural chemical produced by the body to rid itself of harmful substances and causes sneezing, watery eyes and itching; the same symptoms experienced when someone has hay fever.

 

Only some people suffer with hay fever (and other allergies) due to an imbalance in their immune system. 

 

They can be triggered (or the result of) drugs such as antibiotics and some other drugs. They cause inflammation in the gut and diminish beneficial gut bacteria.

 

The gut plays a key role in immune health and the way the body responds to allergens. 70% of our immune system is found in the gut so keeping it healthy is key in order to control allergies.

 

HOW TO IMPROVE GUT FUNCTION & BOOST IMMUNITY

 

·       Avoid foods that damage the gastrointestinal system including sugar, refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, pastries, pies), gluten-containing foods, pasteurised dairy, fried foods and processed foods.

·       Supplement with probiotics - to help repopulate your gut bacteria and reduce an overactive immune response.

·       Eat more fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi as they are rich in beneficial gut bacteria.

·       Drink freshly squeezed lemon in warm water upon rising as it helps to increase stomach acid production.  Low stomach acid has been linked to allergies and hay fever.

·       Eat plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine. 

·       Increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods that make up the basis of a Mediterranean diet. 

·       Bromelain is an enzyme (naturally found in pineapple) known to reduce hay fever symptoms, decreasing inflammation in the sinuses. Bromelain also comes in a supplement form.

·       Check your Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is linked to poor immune function.

·       Supplement with or increase foods with quercetin which is a key antioxidant with anti-allergic and antihistamine properties – apples, berries, green tea.

·       Medicinal mushrooms - contain beta-glucans which stimulate the immune system to work more efficiency and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

·       Bee pollen - is an excellent immune booster with high vitamin and antioxidant content.

·       Homeopathic remedies are highly effective for treating hay fever and reducing symptoms. They are safe to use in children and during pregnancy and lactation.

·       Use a humidifier as they help to put moisture in the air which when inhaled provides moisture to the airways, relieving itchy eyes, congestion and coughs.

·       Essential oils can help reduce allergy symptoms - lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon and tea tree oil are all great oils to use in a vaporiser, steam bath or spray.

·       Consult with a naturopathic nutritionist! I can work with you to manage your hay fever naturally, advise you on the most appropriate treatment plan and devise a personalised nutrition plan which will optimise your health.

 

 

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