You’re going about your business and beginning to appreciate the incoming better weather and life is good. Next thing you know, your eyes are beginning to water and your nose is blocked and your throat feels that all too familiar itch – hay fever season is here!
Hay fever is the result of an allergy to environmental substances, including pollen or dust, which can irritate the mucous membranes resulting in those annoying symptoms of a streaming or blocked nose, itchy, watery eyes, headaches, itchy throat and sneezing. If you suffer from hay fever you’ll know just how uncomfortable and claustrophobic it can feel.
The current warm, humid and windy weather is triggering a surge in emails to us asking what can help aside from the usual over-the-counter antihistamines, which can bring along their own problems including drowsiness and nausea.
Here are our tops tips for allowing you to get out and enjoy the summer (which is coming soon – it’s on its way now any minute!):
Vitamin C boosts the immune system and acts as a natural antihistamine by reducing the amount of histamine your body produces in response to an allergen. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and studies have shown that high doses of Vitamin C reduces allergy symptoms. As well as eating foods high in Vitamin C, including bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, citrus fruits, kiwis, and tomatoes, a high quality Vitamin C supplement will produce antihistamine, immune-enhancing effects in the body.
As your immune and digestive systems are connected, we also recommend a high strength probiotic supplement. Probiotics can help balance your good bacteria and produce a stronger immune response to common allergens.
Omega-3 can also help to support a healthy, balanced immune system. Studies have shown that an increased incidence of allergic conditions can be associated with an over-consumption of omega-6 fatty acids (which increase inflammation) in relation to Omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. Eating Omega-3 rich foods (the best source being oily fish) or taking a good quality Omega-3 supplement can help correct the Omega-6:Omega-3 imbalance and provide a positive effect in those with allergic conditions such as hay fever.
Many allergies have been associated with our widespread low levels of Vitamin D so keep up your Vitamin D supplement throughout the summer.
Cut back on sugar and dairy products during hay fever season, as they can encourage the production of mucous leading to a runny nose.
Nettle tea also has some antihistamine effects as it is chlorophyll and mineral rich which helps to naturally cleanse the body.
Keep a clean desk so no dust or allergens are being harboured.
House plants are great air purifiers, just don’t forget to water regularly and remove the topsoil on a regular basis to reduce the risk of mould.
Wear shades while outdoors as much as possible to help soothe streaming eyes.
We all love to see a full line of clothes hanging outside but on high pollen count days try to dry clothes indoors to prevent pollen from coming into the house.
Wash your hair and clothes regularly to get rid of any sticky pollen.
Wishing you a summer filled with lots of great time outdoors!