Conquer Hay Fever Naturally

The last couple of months have been difficult for seasonal hay fever sufferers and with summer in full swing the hay fever triggers won’t be easing up any time soon.

Histamine is the inflammatory chemical that is responsible for the symptoms of hay fever and it gets released from the mast cells of the immune system when pollen (or other irritants) come in contact with our nose, eyes and throat. Histamine then signals the body to produce mucus and dilate blood vessels which cause the typical sneezing, congestion, red and watery eye symptoms of hay fever. Histamine also irritates nerve endings causing you to feel itchy.

Histamine may also be released when we are stressed, during change in temperature and when we eat certain foods.

At this time of year we exceed our threshold for histamine tolerance and need to be mindful to reduce our exposure through other avenues if we wish to be symptom free. We also need to support the immune system and reduce inflammation naturally. Relief might not happen overnight but if you are persistent with these changes you will notice a difference.

Here are some tips to conquer hay fever this summer:

• Increase Vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to reduce histamine production and is an all round immune booster. I suggest you also take a high quality vitamin C supplement daily.

• Take Omega 3 fish oil as omega 3 fatty acids contain hormone-like chemicals with anti-inflammatory properties which help bring relief to those with hay fever. I recommend you supplement with fish oils daily and try to consume some form of oily fish and omega 3 rich nuts and seeds a few times per week.

• Add ginger to your food and drinks. Ginger has many fantastic benefits including its ability to slow histamine production and reduce inflammation.

• Supplement with bromelain. This is an enzyme found in pineapple which works to break down mucus and reduce inflammation in the body.

• Make some turmeric tea or add turmeric to cooked meals. Turmeric is a powerful healing spice that has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and inhibits histamine production.

• Increase your intake of quercetin rich foods. Quercetin is a compound found in onions, garlic, apples and leafy greens. It is an anti-oxidant and it works to stabilize mast cells which reduce the release of histamine. In the case of hay fever it is helpful to take a daily supplement of quercetin to combat symptoms.

• Take a good probiotic. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that make up a large part of our intestinal tract where more than 80% of our immune system resides. There have been a number of studies that show a link between probiotics and reduced allergies.

• Avoid foods which increase histamine and mucus production. Limit or avoid cow’s milk, chocolate, cheese, vinegar, wine, beer, mushrooms, tomatoes, bananas and strawberries.

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