Top Foods and Supplements To Beat Hay Fever Naturally
Spring has arrived! Along with the blossoming trees, buzzing bees, and happy birds, a few not-so-pleasant things can come along with the season - allergies and hay fever are extremely common this time of year.
The pollinating trees and flowers as well as cut grass and weeds can cause an allergic reaction for many people that presents as sneezing, sniffling, runny nose, and itchy or watery eyes. Not fun when all you want to do is get outside and enjoy a little bit of spring sunshine!
Because hay fever and seasonal allergies are, like all allergies, immune system reactions, supporting the immune system is one of the best things you can do to reduce symptoms.
Here are 5 food, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations to focus on to reduce hay fever and get you on track to loving this time of year:
- Eat vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C is a natural anti-histamine and is important for supporting the immune system. Food like lemons, berries, sweet bell peppers, papaya, oranges, pineapple, leafy greens, and tomatoes are all great sources of vitamin C. Eat several servings of these delicious, fresh foods each day to make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamin C in your diet! The addition of vitamin C supplements can also be beneficial, just make sure they also contain bioflavonoids! (Read the label to make sure).
- Use local bee pollen. Bee pollen is a powerful food that takes bees a lot of work to make – it takes 1 bee working 8 hours a day for 1 month to make one teaspoon of pollen! Taking local bee pollen for several weeks before and throughout allergy season seems to be an effective remedy for many allergy sufferers. Note: If you have an allergy to bee stings, it is best to avoid bee pollen.
- Eat probiotic rich foods and take a probiotic supplement. Probiotics inhabit the gut, forcing out bad bacteria and yeasts, and support the immune system. Getting a variety of probiotics in your diet is important for good immune health and therefore preventing allergies! Try foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso. Taking a probiotic supplement is a great and powerful way to help establish gut balance as well!
- Up your onion consumption. Onions are great for the immune system and also have anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine effects thanks to the powerful flavonoid Quercetin that they contain. Toss some raw red onions in a fresh spring salad for maximum effect!
- Avoid mucus-forming foods. Certain foods can increase mucus production, exasperating the symptoms of hay fever. The big ones here are dairy and gluten-containing grains. Avoid these and instead use coconut milk or almond milk, and gluten-free grains like buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, oats, and amaranth.
- Get ample, regular, good quality sleep. It’s hard to emphasize the importance of good sleep enough – and so many of us aren’t getting enough of it! Improving your sleep and making sure you’re setting aside enough time for it is key to supporting your immune system. Set a reminder on your phone for an hour before bed. Wind down by shutting off all screens and reading a book instead, or doing some gentle yoga or stretching.
In addition to the above tips, the general recommendations for supporting immune health are important for reducing allergy symptoms – focus on eating a whole foods diet, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Reduce your consumption of processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol and you’ll be well on your way to a happier, healthier allergy season!
By :Ali MacBoudreau
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Ali is passionate about guiding her clients through whole foods and lifestyle changes to discover their most vibrant selves. To learn more about Ali and holistic nutrition please visit her website https://www.holisticali.com/about