Hay Fever and Food – Suggestions for Natural Relief
We’re full swing into summer – hooray for that! For many people however, unfortunately this season comes hand-in-hand with hay fever. So to help you or anyone you know that suffers from this allergy, we have summarised the findings from several studies to give you some ideas on foods to include in your diet (and what to avoid) which may help to reduce your hay fever symptoms.
Note – many of these ideas help with general wellbeing too, so even if you’re lucky enough not to be effected by hay fever, read on anyway…
Research suggests increasing foods that contain natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin C, flavonoids/quercetin, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium such as:
- Onions – particularly red onion, garlic, fresh ginger, turmeric, chilli, horseradish, parsley
- Most fruit (other than oranges and tomatoes possibly – see * below) – particularly red apples, as well as red, black and blue-berries, red grapes, pineapple, mango and avocados
- All vegetables – particularly red and yellow capsicums, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach and kale
- Raw unsalted nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, pumpkin, sunflower and flaxseeds
- Oats, brown rice, quinoa
- Beans, legumes, lentils and tofu
- Fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel
As you will see from the list above there are many wonderful foods that may be of benefit, we haven’t mentioned all the reasons why but feel free to do more of your own research for a better understanding of what they offer.
Research suggests cutting down on mucus-forming foods such as:
- Dairy products
- try alternative nut/soy/coconut milk and yoghurt
- Gluten (wheat, barley etc)
- try baking with nutritious gluten-free flours such as coconut flour, buckwheat flour and almond meal/flour (ground almonds)
- Refined foods (eg white: bread/rice/pasta/noodles/sugar)
- try brown rice, beans such as black beans, legumes like lentils, wholegrains including quinoa or buckwheat
- swap white sugar for a small amount of pure maple syrup, honey, rice malt syrup or coconut sugar
- Processed foods (especially foods containing additives including e numbers)
- stick with natural foods such as vegetables, nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds, fish and poultry
- Caffeine and alcohol
- try rooibos tea, high in antioxidants, or herbal teas such as chamomile, liquorice and nettle
- instead of alcohol try a refreshing fruit mocktail, or a vegetable juice containing fresh ginger, and lots of water – all perfect for hot summer days!
A few extra tips:
- Vegetables such as red or yellow capsicums are more helpful than fruit as a source of vitamin C, as fruits are higher in sugar
- Many people believe honey from local bees can help to build up resistance to the pollen in your area
- Taking a probiotic is recommended, along with fermented foods such as sauerkraut (please contact us if you’d like a recommendation on a pharmaceutical grade probiotic)
* It seems to be debatable whether to eat oranges and tomatoes or not if you suffer from hay fever, so it may be worth experimenting yourself to see whether including or excluding them helps your symptoms.
Consult a healthcare professional before making major changes to your diet.
Try some of the above ideas in these flavourful wholesome recipes from Wicked Wellbeing…