Allergies and hay fever
As we approach the hay fever season here are a some tips to help with the life limiting symptoms some of us encounter when we are allergic to something:
- Try to find out what you are allergic to and avoid where possible.
- Vitamin D increases regulatory T cells, which help, turn off the immune response. Supplementation may be needed if you cannot get regular access to sunlight.
- Quercetin may helps boost immunity and regulates the secretion of histamine, histamine is the substance released by the body in response to an immune attack it is what makes you sneezy/itchy/scratchy. Quercetin is also anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant and is found in apples, onions (use the first layer of an onion as it contains the most amount of quercetin), berries, capers and brassica vegetables.
- Avoid eating sugar and refined processed foods to help reduce inflammation.
- Reduce inflammation by balancing omega 6 and omega 3 fats to help Omega 3’s main source is oily fish, walnuts and flaxseeds. Try to eat oily fish 2-3 times a week.
- Probiotics are useful in supporting the immune system, as the first line of defence in the gastrointestinal tract they help immune cells communicate effectively.
- Increase colour of the rainbow foods these are full of antioxidants this can help mop up any damaging substances that are floating around due to an over reactive inflammatory response. Foods to include: sweet potatoes, ginger, broccoli, kale, spinach, cavolo nero, cabbage, carrots, beetroot, tomatoes and peppers.
- Green tea contains a substance that helps control histamine release and the immune response that is overreacting.
- Nettle may reduce sneezing and hay fever symptoms, try nettle tea.
- Relaxation is important in calming down the immune system. Find a hobby that distracts you or take up meditation or mindfulness.
- Epsom salt baths, as they are rich in magnesium, a calming relaxing mineral and a good way to relax.
- Chew your food thoroughly as this helps the body digest and absorb nutrients and helps prevents any larger food molecules passing through the stomach lining creating a possible immune reaction.
Allergic reactions can be life threatening so always seek advice from your doctor if they are troublesome. They can also interfere with everyday life so it is important to support the immune system to try to reduce the symptoms.
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About Natasha Alonzi
A nutritional therapist and a mother of two who is passionate nutrition and it's powerful effect on health and well-being.