Allergy season is upon us once again, and if you are one of many people who suffer from hay fever (around one in five) there are ways you can naturally help reduce your symptoms.
Avoiding hay fever triggers like pollen and dust mites is pretty much impossible. So we've compiled our top ingredient picks to help support your immune system this allergy season.
Together with consulting a health professional, these may help reduce the severity and occurrence of symptoms of hay fever and allergies this spring.
Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamin C to support a healthy immune response for relief of hay fever symptoms.
When it comes to supporting your immune system vitamin C is one of our hero nutrients and is quite often called upon. Foods, especially fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C include orange, kiwi fruit, berries, broccoli, and tomato.
Vitamin C supplements may help reduce the hypersensitive immune response as seen in allergies and seasonal rhinitis by acting as an effective antioxidant.
Studies show that vitamin C may have a therapeutic role in allergic rhinitis by reduction of free radicals and oxidative stress and inflammation. Vitamin C may also help to reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms.
Zinc, like vitamin C, is a key nutrient that may be used to help regulate our immune system function. Both nutrients may also help with wound healing too. Food sources with good amounts of zinc include seafood, red meat, almonds, cashews, kidney beans, and cheese.
When supplemented, zinc may help to dull the hypersensitivity response of the immune system as seen with seasonal allergies. Studies show that adequate levels of zinc concentrations can inhibit histamine release, resulting in a reduction in allergy symptoms.
Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant naturally found in many foods such as red onion, radicchio, watercress, berries, buckwheat, and red wine.
Quercetin supplements are commonly used as a natural antihistamine for seasonal respiratory allergies.
Scutellaria baicalensis (baical skullcap)
The effects of baical skullcap as an antiallergic herb have been recognised for over 2000 years in traditional Chinese medicine to help:
• Relieve mild allergy symptoms including hayfever
• Relieve mild eczema symptoms
Including prebiotic and probiotic foods in your diet supports gut health which is home to around 80% of our immune system.
Did you know that around 80% of our immune system resides in the gut? It is, therefore, really important to support your gut health to promote healthy immune system function.
Probiotics are minuscule living organisms of beneficial bacteria and yeast that make up our gut flora.
Through both direct and indirect interactions with the immune system, beneficial bacteria are important for immune regulation and reducing the occurrence of allergic, inflammatory responses.
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Reviewed by the healthylife Advisory Board September 2021