Fed up of buying antihistamines? Here are some simple ways that may help relieve your seasonal allergies
If spring means a runny nose, scratchy throat and constant sneezing you'll appreciate this: while medication is normally the first stop for hay fever sufferers, there is a natural, drug-free route you can try to reduce your troublesome allergy symptoms.
1. Reduce your dairy intake
Lots of people prone to allergic reactions can struggle with dairy, so it's worth trying some alternatives to cow's milk, such as almond, coconut, Oat, rice or soya milk. This includes changing to dairy free yoghurt, cheese, butter etc. Some people that can’t tolerate cow’s milk can tolerate goat’s milk, but others can’t so its better to choose a different alternative in the first instance. Make sure that you choose a variety with no added sugar, as it can exasperate allergies further.
2. Ditch the coffee
If your nasal passages are pouring, give anti-inflammatory green, white, nettle or chamomile tea a try. Always cover herb teas as they infuse, you don’t want to loose any important volatile oils in the escaping steam. Sip and sniff while you drink to get the oils directly into your nasal passageway.
3. Cut sugary snacks and heavily refined carbohydrates
Refined sugar can trigger a blood sugar spike which in turn will activate histamine release. For a natural sugar fix, snack on fresh fruit instead. The fibre in fruit slows the absorption of its sugar so you don’t get the blood sugar spike that you do when you eat refined sugar.
4. increase your Vitamin C intake
By filling your diet with fresh fruit and vegetables (especially raw or very lightly cooked), you will get a constant supply of vitamin C, which can support your nasal lining and reduce the amount of histamine in the blood.
5. Eat loads of anti-inflammatory foods
Allergies are linked to inflammation so eating foods packed with anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants should go along way to minimising the impact of pollen on your system. Anti-oxidants tend to produce lovely colours in fruit and veg (orange, purple, red) so if you eat a rainbow selection of fresh produce you’ll be getting lots of anti-oxidants:
· Berries, including blueberries and blackberries
· Purple grapes
· Root veg like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and butternut squash
· Fish like herring, pilchards, sardines, salmon
· Healthy oils like pumpkinseed oil and flaxseed
6. Enlist the help of herbs
If you have moderate to severe hay fever, you may find that you need something stronger to work with your diet changes (which I recommend to all my hay fever patients). Herbs are a great option for those wanting to avoid daily anti-histamines. They can help to dampen down the immune system’s reaction to pollen and dry up symptoms.