Different types of pollen, released at varying times throughout the year, cause millions to suffer from hay fever and other allergies and these symptoms can have a serious impact on well-being.
We know that good nutrition is essential for good health and that it can be strategic in beauty and fitness regimes for example but did you know that you can also use certain foods to help fight your seasonal allergies?
Dr Mitchell Gaynor from New York City's Weill-Cornell Medical College has authored a new book called The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle. It claims that you can get rid of the symptoms of allergies such as itchy eyes and a runny nose through the consumption of certain vitamins and food.
The idea is that certain foods work to alter the expression of your genes, this could be through of the same way as doing exercises for certain muscles in the body - e.g. squats for your derriere!
Here are five nutrients you want to makes sure you’re getting when the sneezing, itchy eyes, and sore throats strike:
According to Dr Gaynor this mineral helps to open up your airways. The recommended dose is 200 mg of a supplement or to eat magnesium rich foods which include spinach, kale and sunflower seeds. You could even take a relaxing dip in a bath topped up with Epsom salts or milk of magnesia!
Your gut has a close connection to your immune system, this means that a lot of the same foods that benefit your stomach also benefit your sinuses. Taking probiotics as a supplement is one way to go or you could increase the amount of fermented foods in your diet - this includes Miso, Tempeh, Greek Yoghurt and Kefir.
Everyone knows to reach for vitamin C when they're feeling the onset of a cold but it can also help with the sniffly or runny nose associated with seasonal allergies. When you are suffering from an allergy your body's histamine levels are elevated. the vitamin C in oranges, peppers and tomatoes for example can lower the release of histamine and break it down quicker.
Add Brussels sprouts, mangoes, garlic and green tea to the shopping list! The plant based antioxidants found in these types of food help to reduce the amount of histamine the body produces.
This nutrient is an antioxidant which helps to suppress the part of the immune system that cause allergies and it also reduces histamines. This helpful nutrient is found in green apples such as the good old Granny Smith as well as onions, parsley and sage.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.