When your immune system overreacts to an outdoor allergen, such as pollen, this can trigger an allergic response. The most common allergens are pollens from wind-pollinated plants, such as trees, grasses, and weeds. Research says that 30% of Irish adults take leave from work due to their allergies, while allergy season (typically between late March to September when it’s warm, humid and windy), affects 1 in 4. Below are a few simple tips to keep yours under control as we go into a seasonal summer shift.
Be mindful of diet
Cutting out pro-inflammatory foods like processed meats, sugary drinks and trans-fats is a good start. Try replacing the pro-inflammatory foods with anti-inflammatory essential fats and antioxidants from the likes of green leafy vegetables, blueberries, pineapple, salmon, herbs and spices.
Natural remedies can also be found in many food items
The natural antihistamines found in cauliflower, grapes, green tea and vitamin C from orange, lemon, peppers can help ease symptoms without any side effects.
Drink more herbal tea
Herbal teas like nettle or liquorice and peppermint with natural antihistamine properties are also good at reducing inflammation. Caffeine can often make symptoms worse, so maybe swap your daily coffee with chamomile tea which is a natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine.
Try some Tumeric
Turmeric is known as an anti-inflammatory powerhouse for a reason. Its active ingredient, curcumin, has been linked to reduced symptoms of many inflammation-driven diseases, and could help minimise the swelling and irritation caused by hay fever.
Wash, wash, wash
In line with the Covid-19 mantra, washing your hands is extra important when the pollen count is high, but your clothes need special attention too. To ensure pollen exposure is reduced when entering your home, remove and wash your clothes. This will control the pollen level in your home. Also, if you have pets, refrain from letting them enter your bedroom as the pollen may transfer from your pet onto your bed which is a recipe for a bad night’s sleep!
When your body is dehydrated, it can produce higher histamine levels which actually worsens allergies. Typically, in Ireland, we are advised to drink approx. 8 glasses of fluid per day to prevent dehydration.