Hay fever is a pain the arse, well, generally a pain affecting the sinuses but you know what I mean. It can leave a person with a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, bouts of sneezing, and headaches.
This also sounds very familiar to the common cold however I find hay fever can be worse. It is not caused by a virus but by an allergic reaction to things such as pollen. The allergic reaction occurs when your immune system thinks that a harmless substance is actually a threat. Your body then releases histamine in to your bloodstream which causes a reaction resulting in the above symptoms.
That’s why anti-histamines are generally what are taken to counteract hay fever and other allergies. I often have to take them as I do suffer from mild hay fever but take them more so after swimming. There is something about the chemicals in public swimming pools which just sets me off and I’ll be sneezing as soon as I am out the pool, and while anti-histamines do a good job, I always look for natural remedies as well to back them up or replace them ideally. After all, if nature is resulting in this affliction, then nature will also provide a remedy, that’s generally the rule I think.
Here are some tips that may help when it comes to hay fever:
- Cut down on alcohol – I know this may not be a popular choice, especially during the Summer but alcohol normally contains histamine which is what we are trying to reduce.
- Eat foods high in Omega 3 – a the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that a diet high in Omega 3 could decrease the risk of hay fever. Foods containing Omega 3 include flaxseeds, walnuts, sardines, salmon, tofu, shrimp, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli.
- Eat garlic – that’s right, you can stink the hay fever out of yourself! That’s not really true but garlic does contain anti-histamine so get it down you and embrace the stench!
- Eat foods that contain quercetin or pycnogenol – these will aid in the reduction of histamine in the body. Foods that contain these include citrus fruit, broccoli, yellow peppers, berries, onions and apples.
- Reduce inflammation – reducing inflammation in the body can also help negate the symptoms of hay fever, try adding turmeric to whatever you’re making as this is one of the best anti-inflammatories out there.
If you have any of your own hay fever tips then let us know.