1. Cut down your coffee intake
Caffeine triggers the release of histamine which can bring the skin up in a red, itchy, angry looking rash. It may also dilate your blood vessels until everything feels inflamed. Therefore, to avoid these symptoms try cutting down your caffeine intake and opt for anti-inflammatory green, white or nettle tea instead. These are particularly beneficial if you are suffering from nasal symptoms such as a runny or blocked nose.
2. Avoid dairy products
Milk, cheese and yogurts can trigger the release of mucus which will only worsen any symptoms in the nasal area. These kind of dairy products have also been known to make mucous thicker which, again, will exacerbate the problem of a blocked nose. On top of this, people prone to allergic reactions often struggle to digest dairy.
Fortunately there are plenty of dairy free products that you can easily substitute for the regular varieties. Almond milk, soya milk and coconut milk are just a few examples that you’ll find in most supermarkets.
3. Add some spice to your diet
Ginger can soothe troublesome symptoms in the nose as it calms inflammation and in doing so acts as a natural decongestant. Drinking ginger tea is a great way to add this spice to your daily diet. This can be purchased in most supermarkets or health food store – my personal favourite is lemon and ginger. Alternatively, you could try to make your own ginger tea by adding 3 to 4 slices of fresh, peeled ginger (or more, depending on how strong you want it) to 1 cup of hot water. For a little bit of sweetness then add 1 tbsp of honey.
4. Reduce your sugar intake
Refined sugar, which is typically found in processed foods, triggers a dramatic rise and then fall in blood sugar levels. This goes on to cause a surge in adrenalin that activates the release of histamine which will only worsen the overall symptoms of hayfever. If you are in need of a sweet treat it is therefore better to opt for something more natural such as dried or fresh fruit.
5. Get some vitamin C
Vitamin C is important during the hayfever season as it supports the immune system and in doing so helps fight those nasty pollen-related symptoms. Your body can’t make or store vitamin C so it has to be available in low, consistent doses instead.
Fresh fruit and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, mango, kiwi, broccoli and cauliflower are all abundant in this vitamin. For a snack that’s particularly abundant in vitamin C however, you could mix up your own smoothie or try out our very own hayfever blasting smoothie. Yum!
6. Eat anti-inflammatory foods
When one is suffering from hayfever, histamine is release by the body when it comes into contact with pollen. This is pro-inflammatory meaning it contributes to symptoms such as a blocked nose, itchy skin and even itchy eyes. Including lots of anti-inflammatory foods in your diet can, however, counteract the effects of histamine. The following are all well-known for being anti-inflammatory, plus some contain beta-carotene which is excellent for the respiratory tract as well.
- Blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, blackcurrants
- Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash
- Mangoes, apricots, peaches, nectarines, papaya, pears, pineapples
- Prunes, plums, raisins, figs, avocados,
- Fish such as herring, pilchards, sardines, salmon
- Oils such as pumpkinseed oil and flaxseed oil
7. Reduce your alcohol intake
Alcoholic drinks trigger the release of histamine meaning its best not to consume too much of this during the hayfever season – it’ll only make your symptoms worse! Instead of turning to beer, lager or wine, drink plenty of water and opt for a mocktail instead!
What else can I do?
For extra support during the hayfever season you may wish to try some of our natural remedies including A.Vogel Pollinosan Luffa Nasal Spray, A.Vogel Eye Drops and A.Vogel Sinuforce Nasal Spray.
Also, pollen counts are great for measuring the amount of pollen in the air which will allow you to determine how bad your symptoms might be on any given day. To find pollen information visit our 5 Day UK Pollen Forecast, which is updated daily.
Originally published 26 May 2016 (updated on 4 January 2019)