Max Wiseberg shows that despite the chocolate, it isn’t all bad news for hay fever sufferers…
You’ll probably be surprised to read that what you eat and drink can affect how much or how little you’ll suffer from hay fever,” says airborne allergies expert and creator of HayMax allergen barrier balms, Max Wiseberg. There are lots of foods you can eat to help your hay fever, like eating the hottest curry on the menu. But what about things to avoid? Max takes a look at some of the food and drinks that can make hay fever worse. “Several foods are beneficial to hay fever sufferers. Red onions and apples contain the natural antihistamine quercetin, pineapples contain bromelain which helps the absorption of quercetin, and garlic helps reduce excess catarrh. But others are best to avoid.
Snack sensibly (an oxymoron?). Sorry about this, but if you’re serious about the whole what-you-put-in-your-mouth thing, then you need to be avoiding chocolate. I know! After all they said about it – good for your heart, good for your gut, good for your just about everything – chocolate, apparently, contains histamine. So that’s it for chocolate. Although, I’m a bit of a chocoholic myself – surely just a tiny little bit every so often can’t do that much harm…
Researchers reported that eating margarine increased the risk of nasal allergy symptoms and wheezing. This is believed to be related to the fact that it is made with unhealthy fat that boosts inflammation.
Cut out or limit dairy, refined and processed foods as they stimulate mucus, which can build up in the throat and make hay fever symptoms worse. I have met people who have told me that cutting out dairy completely stopped their hay fever!
Cutting out refined foods can help to cleanse your body. Refined foods include white bread, white rice, white pasta, white sugar and brown sugar. Instead, use wholemeal versions of bread, rice and pasta, and alternatives to refined sugar, which include raw agave syrup, maple syrup and brown rice syrup and date sugar in small amounts. Avoid pre-packaged foods as much as possible, especially foods containing additives and/or E numbers.
If you have a wheat allergy this may make your hay fever symptoms worse. Check how you react when eating wheat products and avoid them if you experience any symptoms, such as asthma and itchiness including itchy throat, itchy scalp and itchy or irritated skin.
Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. Beer, wine and spirits all contain histamine, the chemical that sets off allergy symptoms in your body. In addition to making you more sensitive to pollen, alcohol also dehydrates you, making your symptoms seem worse.
Avoid mucus-producing dairy drinks. Excess mucus is exactly what you don’t need if you suffer from hay fever. Drink water, fruit tea, herb tea, or any non-caffeinated tea instead.
As well as avoiding these foods and drinks, avoiding pollen can prevent or reduce the symptoms – less pollen, less sneezing. One simple way is to apply a drug-free allergen barrier balm such as HayMax around the nostrils and bones of the eyes. Organic allergen barrier balms have been proven to trap over one third of pollen grains before they enter the body. This is often enough to keep you below your sensitivity level – the amount of pollen you can tolerate in your body without reaction.”
HayMax allergen barrier balms retail at £6.99 per pot and are available from Holland & Barrett; selected Morrison’s and Boots; independent chemists, pharmacists and health stores; and from www.haymax.biz