The weather has warmed up and with the dry sunny weather comes hay fever season.
That could mean months of itchy eyes and throats, sneezing and runny noses. As it’s an allergy, there’s no cure for hay fever, but diet may help to ease those pollen problems.
Here’s some top tips for the foods that may remedy those irritating symptoms.
Give a milk alternative a go
Holland & Barrett Nutritionist Emily Rollason says: “Whilst there are no scientific links between intake of dairy and mucous production, many people feel that milk increases mucous production or thickens mucous. If you feel that dairy exacerbates your hay fever, a dairy free alternative such as oat or nut milk may be an option.”
Eat quinoa for quercetin
Emily says: “Some plant based foods such as quinoa, onions, tomatoes, apples and grapes are rich in a phytochemical called quercetin, which has natural anti- histamine properties.”
Sip on nettle tea or rooibos tea too, as they contain quercetin.
Pick up some pineapple
Emily explains that pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which has natural anti-inflammatory properties and has been traditionally used to aid with inflammation in the sinuses – which can be linked to hay fever.
Marvel at marshmallows
The marshmallow root has natural anti-inflammatory properties, as well as soothing properties.
“It has a unique type of fibre called mucilage,” explains Emily. “This means that this may be useful for relief with any type of condition where inflammation or irritation occurs, such as hay fever. It may aid with soothing the lining of the respiratory tract in this case.“
Get your glutamine
Emily adds: “Glutamine is an amino acid which may be beneficial for support of the immune system. Whilst meat sources generally tend to contain higher amounts of glutamine, beans, peas, lentils and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage also contain good sources.”
Say yes to pine bark extract
Antioxidant pine bark extract has been found to substantially improve the symptoms of hay fever caused by birch pollen.