The Hay Fever Diet: Could These Foods Help Reduce Symptoms?

A diet to end your allergies? While it may seem far-fetched that having almond-crusted salmon at dinner will reduce your likelihood of having hay fever, new research from Germany says it might be true.

When analyzing the diets of 1,336 people, they found that those with a higher intake of EPA (one of the omega 3 fats) and the antioxidant vitamin E were less likely to suffer from hay fever. Those who consumed more Beta-carotene (found in carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin) and oleic acid (olive oil) were more likely to dread pollen season.

With global warming extending the pollen season, and a more pristine environment increasing the number of people who have allergies, we should either start buying stock in Allegra and Claritin, or try to do something about it. While this study just shows an association with omega 3s, vitamin E and reduced chance of allergies and not a cause-and-effect relationship, these are still two healthy nutrients that should be included in your diet, regardless. You can get your omega-3s in salmon, sardines, walnuts, or flaxseed and vitamin E in wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and almonds. We don’t recommend cutting B-carotene and olive oil out of your diet, however.  Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can help slow the aging process, prevent UTIs, and give your skin a healthy glow. Olive oil is one of the staples of the Mediterranean Diet, which may help control blood sugar and keep weight down.

Aside from diet, if your allergies affect your sinuses, try using a Neti pot at home. It may feel weird at first, but it has done wonders for some people. Scientists are also looking into an herbal remedy for hay fever, the butterbur plant. However, more research needs to be done to test its safety and efficacy.

In the meantime, add some salmon and sunflower seeds to your summer diet. We can’t say you won’t need tissues anymore, but it may help.

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