Hayfever? How changing your diet can help

Hayfever? How changing your diet can help

If you suffer from hayfever, eating the right foods (and avoiding the wrong foods) can make a huge difference to how you feel over the summer.

If you suffer from hayfever, eating the right foods (and avoiding the wrong foods) can make a huge difference to how you feel over the summer.

If your hayfever means you’re dreading the next few months, while everyone else is enjoying the sunshine, a few changes to your diet may help you through the pain, without having to pop too many anti-histamine pills.

It does still come down to histamines though: foods and drinks that contain histamines will make your allergies worse; and foods and drinks that contain few, or even actively fight them, will limit your problems.

And then there are the foods that might not make your allergies worse but could make you FEEL worse – such as the ones that make your mucus thicker, or cause you to be dehydrated and tired – and those that boost your immune system all year round.

Of course, even with these dietary improvements, you never know when a sneeze will come upon you – and if you have a sensitive bladder, you may end up needing more than just a tissue! So make sure you’re using Always Discreet liners, pads or underwear, so even if you leak when there’s pressure on your bladder from an impromptu sneeze, you’ll feel dry, comfortable and odour-free all day.

What you should eat or drink more of

  • Garlic and onions: a source of quericin, to help your immune system and reduce histamine production.
  • Ginger: stabilises histamines
  • Honey: helps your immune system deal with allergy-causing pollen.
  • Chillies and peppers: packed with vitamin C.
  • Citrus fruit and berries: also vitamin-C heroes.
  • Probiotics: Lactobacillus acidophilus reduces allergy symptoms.
  • Coconut milk: an excellent anti-inflammatory, without the negatives of dairy.
  • Carrots: natural anti-inflammatories and packed with vitamins.
  • Green or mint tea: also packed with anti-inflammatories.

Foods and drinks to avoid

  • Fermented foods: histamines are often present in aged, pickled or processed foods such as cheese, cured meat or sauerkraut.
  • Alcohol: packed with histamines, alcohol, and particularly wine, can be a huge trigger for hayfever or other allergies. It also dehydrates you, which makes you feel even worse.
  • Over-ripe fruit and veg: histamine levels go up as fruit ripens.
  • Milk or yoghurt (including soy): rich in histamines, soy and dairy milk can both trigger reactions. Plus dairy can thicken the mucous you produce, making you more congested.
  • Shellfish: seafood is high in histamine, so is best avoided.
  • Bananas and tomatoes: normally so good for you, but they can actually stimulate histamine production.
  • Caffeine and sugar: the stimulation of your adrenal glands from caffeine or sugar can cause your body to produce more histamine.
  • Chocolate: we know, all the good stuff… Sadly chocolate contains lots of histamine, so you do need to avoid it.

How do you manage your hay fever symptoms? We’d love to hear your tips, in the comments box below.

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