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Top 7 Natural Nutrition & Lifestyle Remedies for Combating Hay Fever

Updated: Jun 13

A bee sucking nectar from a flower

As the sun graces our skies in the UK, so does the dreaded hay fever season. Did you know that nearly half of us (49%), including both adults and children, grapple with its irritating symptoms, as revealed by a research conducted by Allergy UK / Kleenex in 2020? For some, hay fever may just be a minor inconvenience, requiring a few extra tissues or antihistamines. However, for others, it can be debilitating, with a knock-on effect on other aspects of health.


As we head into summer in the UK (and the Northern Hemisphere), it is an important time to consider our top 7 natural nutrition and lifestyle remedies for combating hay fever. But first, let's delve into what hay fever is.


What is hay fever?

Hay fever occurs when our immune system reacts to an allergen, in this case pollen, by releasing excessive amounts of histamine. Histamine causes our blood vessels to expand and leads to symptoms we commonly associate with hay fever, such as swelling, sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and a runny nose.


However, we shouldn't entirely view histamine in a negative light, as it plays a crucial role in immune regulation. Nevertheless, when the immune response becomes inappropriate and histamine release is excessive, as in the case of hay fever, it becomes necessary to intervene and reduce our body’s histamine load


Top 7 Nutrition & Lifestyle Remedies to combat hay fever symptoms:


#1 - Reduce histamine-rich foods

Cut down on histamine-rich foods such as tomatoes, aubergine, pickled or canned foods, mature cheeses, smoked meat products, beans and pulses, and alcohol. Keeping a food diary can help identify potential triggers.


#2 - Strengthen your gut wall

Incorporate foods rich in vitamin A (carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach), vitamin D3 (mushrooms, eggs, fatty fish), zinc (pumpkin seeds, beef), and glutamine sources (bone broth, cabbage, parsley) to fortify your gut wall and barrier function against pollen invasion.

Mushroom and bone broth

#3 - Add natural anti-histamines:

Boost your diet with foods rich in vitamin C (oranges, strawberries, peppers), beta-glucans (oats, barley, mushrooms), and quercetin (onions, apples, citrus fruits) to introduce natural anti-histamines and counterbalance histamine levels.

#4 - Incorporate spirulina:

Consider adding spirulina to your diet, a nutrient-dense blue-green algae rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Studies suggest that spirulina can alleviate inflammation in the nasal cavity and decrease histamine levels, thereby reducing symptoms like nasal congestion, itching, and sneezing.


#5 - Diversify your microflora

Support your immune response by diversifying the microflora in your gut, skin, and respiratory tract. Aim to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, consuming at least 30 colourful varieties per week.

Colourful fruit and vegetable in a market

#6 - Stay Hydrated and get adequate sleep:

Don't underestimate the power of hydration and minimum 7 hours of sleep daily. Drinking plenty of water helps thin mucus secretions, while getting adequate rest supports your body's immune function, helping you combat hay fever symptoms more effectively.

#7 - Minimise outdoor exposure during peak pollen hours:

If you are really struggling, try to limit your outdoor activities (if feasible), particularly during early morning and late afternoon when pollen levels are typically at their highest. Opt for indoor activities or wear sunglasses and a hat when you do venture outside to reduce pollen exposure.

Man wearing a hat working in a field

Conclusion

By adopting a holistic approach that includes dietary and lifestyle modifications, you can effectively tackle hay fever symptoms and significantly enhance your quality of life during the warmer months. The key is to start incorporating these changes even before the hay fever season hits, to prime your body’s natural defences and ensure it’s ready to fight the pollen surge that typically occurs during the spring and summer months.


If you or your loved one is struggling with low immunity, hay fever / allergy symptoms, frequently falling ill and are in need of support from a nutritional therapist, then I would love to talk to you. Please book my complimentary 30 minute health review by clicking here and let's get you back to feeling your best so you can embrace the warmer months with vitality and ease.

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