When you are suffering from hay fever, you could include some foods in your diet for treatment. Here are the hay fever diet essentials mentioned for you in this article.
We all suffer from allergic reactions at some point or the other, the basic ones being sneezes, rashes, itching on the skin and sometimes instant inflammation. These reactions are triggered by the immune system, when an external particle or allergen enters our body and is detected as foreign or non-self.
The immune system therefore, triggers the production of certain antibodies to kill the allergens and this battle further gives rise to reactions such as inflammation, rashes, etc. Like these, there is another allergic reaction, which is slightly more serious in nature, and is called “hay fever”. It is caused due to pollens and can be treated with some hay fever remedies. However, consuming foods that have small amounts of pollens in them could develop resistance. We have mentioned such foods for the hay fever diet, in the following paragraphs.
What is Hay Fever?
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis is defined as the inflammation of nasal airways caused due to allergic reactions of the body towards certain foreign particles (allergens). It is basically caused when particles such as pollens or dust enter through the nasal tract. This triggers the production of the IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibodies, which release inflammatory mediators such as “histamine” that gives rise to inflammation of the nasal airways leading to hay fever. There are various natural remedies to treat it, but these could go waste if you eat foods that could trigger the reaction. Therefore, there are certain foods that keep you away from hay fever and should be included in your diet.
Diet To Manage Hay Fever
Allergic reactions are observed when the immune system is weaker than required. Hay fever is one such reaction which is triggered in response to a weak immune system, that can be treated by a number of natural remedies. However, the best treatment for reducing or preventing hay fever is to have a healthy diet. When you consume foods which consists less pollen concentration, and strengthen your immune system, you can save yourself from hay fever. There are also some other foods which open up a clogged nasal tract and thus help you breathe effectively. The following foods form a hay fever diet.
Foods with Vitamin C
When the inflammatory mediator histamine is triggered, the reaction is called hay fever. Foods that are rich in vitamin C have a natural antihistamine property, that help in reducing the sensitivity of the immune system to the allergens and thus prevent inflammation or mucus production. These foods could be oranges, lemons, peppers, tomatoes, kiwis, strawberries, spinach, celery, broccoli, etc., which can provide you with the necessary amounts of vitamin C.
Foods with Beta Carotene
Beta carotene is an organic terpenoid which is red to orange in color and is found abundantly in plants and fruits which have the same colors. Beta carotene is used for strengthening the immune system and to reduce the production of mucus in the nasal passage, and open it up for better breathing. There are various foods which are excellent sources of beta carotene, such as; carrots, pumpkins, squashes, peppers, sweet potatoes, etc.
Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can protect you from hay fever symptoms like sneezing, itching, redness, running nose, etc. Seafood like shells, oysters, squids, lobsters, shrimp, etc., are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, are the ones that are rich in these acids. For vegetarians, flaxseed oil and walnuts are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids.
Foods that Build Resistance
‘Like begets like’ is a very simple rule of nature which is applied in vaccinations. Thus, foods which have small amounts of pollen can be used as the cure to hay fever which is caused due to pollens. When you eat foods like honey and elderflower, you already have some amount of pollen in your body, and you can build resistance towards that particle. Thus when pollen enters through your nasal passage, your body accepts it, making it “self” and not an allergen. Therefore a reaction is not triggered against the pollens.
Foods for Home Remedies
There are many foods which are used to prevent the symptoms of hay fever. The first being garlic which has a natural antihistamine called quercetin. Other foods like berries, red grapes, black tea, onions, apples, etc., are also rich in this antihistamine, thus preventing the symptoms. Ginger and green tea is usually used to treat the symptoms such as running nose, itchy nasal passage and reducing the production of mucus. Nettle leaves are anti-inflammatory in nature and thus keep the passage from swelling and helping you breathe.
With these foods that are to be included in the hay fever diet, you should also know some foods that should be avoided. These are dairy products, eggs, alcohol, canned fish, wheat and saturated fats, as they increase the mucus production and lead to sever hay fever symptoms. Thus, make sure you consult a doctor in case of the diet for hay fever.