It is that time of year again when pollen ruins an otherwise lovely day. More and more people are starting to suffer from hay fever. Each year more children develop the condition and also adults, that never had hay fever before, are starting to develop symptoms. What can you do to prevent, or at least reduce the symptoms of hay fever?
Hay fever is caused by allergens that enter your body through the nose, throat or skin and then attack the immune system. The first step then in combating hay fever is to improve your immune system.
The best way to boost your immune system is to start eating a healthier diet and get more sleep. Boosting your immune system will help to deal with mucus building up which is one of the biggest problems people have. Mucus building leads to catarrh which can be very unpleasant.
Eat Natural Antihistamines
Vitamin C and antioxidants are natural antihistamines. Antihistamines reduce the allergic reaction to allergens. The best way to get more vitamin C is to eat a diet rich in fresh fruits. The general rule is the more colorful the food the healthier it is.
Omega 3 also helps fight hay fever, so eat plenty of oily fish such as mackerel, sardines and salmon and also nuts and seeds. These all contain a chemical called prostaglandin which helps to reduce inflammation.
Garlic and onions are also natures cures for hay fever so add lots to your meals. If you like Indian food then dopiazas could be the healthiest meal for you! Garlic and onion increase the production of white blood cells which again helps boost the immune system.
Eat more apples, peppers and tea. These contain the chemical quercetin which helps to stop the immune system from creating histamines when an allergen invades the system.
Local honey is another wonder cure for some people. The idea is that honey produced locally contains the local pollens that aggravate your own hay fever. When you eat the honey your immune system becomes better at dealing with the allergens from pollen when they later enter your body through the mouth or nose.
Nettle tea is also believed to help fight hay fever, although not everyone can drink it. Some people that suffer from hay fever have been known to have an allergic reaction to nettle tea.
Long Term Diet
All of these diet tricks should be followed long term for the best results. It is not an instant fix, so if you are suffering badly with hay fever now your best bet is to take some anti-histamines.
The real key is to eat foods that specifically reduce mucus production. Typical foods to avoid are milk, other dairy, sugar and starch. Sometimes a cleansing diet can be beneficial too, as well as a pure raw food diet.
Other Causes of Hay Fever
Vehicle pollution is blamed for causing increased cases of hay fever. Pollution harms the immune system in a way which makes it respond more severely to allergens.
Food sensitivity could be a cause of hay fever also. One theory is that grass is the real problem. Some people have a reduction in symptoms when they stop eating dairy, bread and other wheat products. There could be a specific protein in grass which is transferred to milk that causes hay fever. More research is required on this subject though to determine if there is any truth in this theory.
There are of course many good medical treatments available, so if you cannot control your hayfever by naturally boosting your immune system speak with a pharmacist or doctor about a course of medicine.
Always try the medicines which do not cause drowsiness first, such as loratadine and cetrizine hydrochloride. Zyrtec contains cetrizine and it is one of the highest-grossing non-food products in America. In the UK it is branded as Zirtek.
Nasal sprays are also effective. Rather than provide immediate relief, nasal sprays build up your immunity over time so most people start a few weeks before the hayfever season gets started. Beconase (brand) is a popular choice, it contains beclometasone dipropionate which is a steroid which helps to control inflammation.