The best way to avoid this hyper-histamine reaction is to balance and modulate the immune system through healthy eating & nutritional supplementation and to try to minimise the pollen that enters the system.
· Change clothing and shower when returning from being outdoors
· Change pillow cases often as pollen clings to the hair and face
· Wear a mask or wrap around sunglasses
· Close windows and use air filters & dust your home often with a damp cloth
· Use a lint roller on furniture or hoover it.
· If you have a dog, bathe them regularly
· Use natural barrier balms such as HAYMAX to stop pollens from entering the nose
Foods to eat & avoid:
1) Increase natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods and herbs:
· Vitamin C helps reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Increase intake of citrus fruit, berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cherries and kale.
· Quercetin is a flavonoid which balances immune function and can stabilise immune cells that produce histamine. It can be found in elderberries, blackberries, red grapes, red apples, and onion.
· Stinging Nettle extract or tea may be helpful in reducing allergic rhinitis symptoms.
2) Eat local honey and bee pollen.
· A teaspoon or so of local raw honey each day may aid in gradual pollen desensitization as will taking bee pollen (start off taking small amounts & build up)
3) Reduce histamine containing foods which may exacerbate symptoms:
o Processed meats
o Fermented foods
o Foods containing preservatives and additives
o Cheese and other cow’s milk products
The therapeutic aim of taking supplements for hay fever should be to modulate immune function and to reduce histamine response and inflammation. Bee Prepared immune formulas are my supplements of choice as they contain ingredients which effectively support immune function and have natural antihistamine properties. Bee Prepared Daily immune formula, combines propolis, elderberry, olive leaf, acerola cherry & beta glucans & Bee Prepared Max is a more concentrated version and also includes astaxanthin and reishi mushroom. I recommended the Daily for everyday use & the MAX for when pollen count is high or suffering increases. For maximum benefit it’s helpful to take an immune supplement such as Bee prepared immune formula a few weeks or so before hay fever season begins & daily, until allergy season is over. These supplements are ideal as they don’t stimulate the immune system like some ingredients can, but rather, modulate it, which means they are suitable to take regularly unlike some immune supplements which should only be taken for short periods of time like echinacea.
The gut also plays an important role and balancing the gut flora also aids in supporting long term immune health and reduction of allergies so adding a good quality probiotic such as Optibac can also help.
Hay fever support smoothie recipe
Makes 2-3 smoothies. Combine everything in a blender or Nutribullet & blitz.
· 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple (it is rich in bromelain which has anti inflammatory properties & a study showed it can improve in nasal drainage, swelling and help restore free breathing.
· 1 Apple (the vitamins A & C are important for immunity and healthy mucous membranes throughout the respiratory tract).
· Handful red grapes (their skins contain resveratrol, which protects us from both nasal allergy symptoms and wheezing).
· ½ cup coconut or almond yogurt
· 1 banana (rich in iron, zinc and potassium
· 1 cup nut or coconut milk (dairy causes mucus to build)
· 1 tsp fresh ginger or ½ tsp powdered- an anti inflammatory that helps reduce nasal swelling and other symptoms
· Capsule contents of 2 Bee prepared immune formula (daily or max strength) it contains ingredients which are rich in quercetin which has natural antihistamine properties, plus a healthy immune system has been shown to help with allergy symptoms (available in health stores and on Ocado).
· ½ teaspoon cinnamon (it has anti-inflammatory properties).
Erin Cann is an NT mBANT Dip ION Nutrition Therapist