Although many people are begining to think more about the quality of food that they eat, they do not always relate their food choices to how their health may be affected. An article published today in The Mail Online considers How a Better Diet Could Beat Hayfever.
Although conventional treatments include antihistamines and steroids, there are alternatives. One of the most interesting theories suggests that what you eat could significantly affect hayfever.
Naturopath Roger Newman Turner of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine says: 'In nearly 40 years of practice I have found that diet plays a very important role in the management of hayfever.
'Most of my hayfever patients have been able to reduce the severity of their symptoms and, in some cases, eradicate the condition.'
Nutritional health expert Linda Lazarides agrees. She says: 'I have certainly heard of people getting rid of their hayfever using nutrition alone, although it won't necessarily succeed with everyone.'
Both experts agree the nutritional approach to hayfever involves cutting down on foods which encourage mucus production, while boosting foods that have natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.
'Eliminate mucus-forming foods such as milk products, sugar and excessive starch,' says Mr Newman Turner. 'This will reduce catarrh and the worst of the streaming.
Among the beneficial foods the article lists to include in the diet are: fish, vegetables, raw unsalted nuts and seeds, garlic and onion, beans and lentils and tofu, herbal teas, and drinking 2 litres of water each day.
Foods listed to avoid include dairy products, meat, wheat and wheat products such as pasta, bread and noodles, caffeine and alcohol, oranges, cheese, red wine and chocolate.
These suggestions may form a basis to work from, but it may be helpful to contact a Nutritional Therapist to offer tailor-made advice that can take into account your own individual nutritional needs. Specific supplements may offer additional support during the hayfever season. Vitamin C for instance, may have natural antihystamine properties, but bear in mind that this is not suitable to take if you are on any type of hormone treatment, including the Pill. Contact me if you would like to know more.