Could Changing Your Diet Reduce Hay Fever Symptoms?


So not only is it miserable and raining outside with no sign of summer arriving any time soon, but we all seem to be sniffing and rubbing our eyes with hay fever too!

Hay fever is one of those things where you only realise how unpleasant it is when you’ve had it.

At first glance, it seems like hay fever can’t be much to do with what you’re eating, but when you look a little deeper, it becomes clear that it could actually be everything to do with what you’re eating.

First, I should say that this isn’t the one and only way to reduce hay fever, but it is a good place to start. After all, the first thing we do when we get the hay fever symptoms is take an antihistamine tablet.

Did you know that a lot of foods are either high in histamine, or can promote the release of histamine in our bodies?

And so, wouldn’t it make sense to reduce the histamine we are, essentially, eating in order to reduce the amount of histamine in our systems and hopefully reduce, or even eliminate, our hay fever symptoms?

Our bodies can only cope with so much histamine. Think of it like a bucket – you can only put so much histamine in before the bucket overflows and symptoms start to show. Not everyone has the same size bucket either, so there is no definite amount you can cope with.

Away from the hay fever season, our bodies are producing less ‘environment-demanded’ histamine, and so we’re more able to get away with eating more histamine releasing foods. But inside the hay fever season, or any time you’re experiencing similar allergies, it is worth reconsidering how your histamine bucket is filled.

So, what foods are promoting the release of histamine in our bodies?

Well, write a list of everything you really enjoy eating, and you’ve probably pretty much answered this question yourself!

Seriously though, reducing or eliminating your intake of the major histamine releasing foods in your diet could well make a big difference to your hay fever symptoms – even if you only get rid of them for the hay fever season.

Yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut and other fermented veg, kombucha, cured meat, cheese, chocolate, alcohol, soy products and sourdough bread are the biggest hitting sources of histamine in your diet – these foods are either high in histamine or promote the release of histamine in your body.

Yes, fermented foods are indeed excellent for gut health. But here, we are talking hay fever.

Of course, there could well be an argument for improving our gut health in order to reduce allergy symptoms. But perhaps it’s best to work on that away from hay fever season – think of the gut health connection as the long game, and the histamine load as the short game.

Do you need help working out how best to eat to optimise your health and immune system? We can talk things through and come up with a plan over FaceTime, Skype or Zoom; get in touch and we can make a plan.

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