We all love it when the sunny weather arrives in full force, especially as we are generally in better health due to how the sun increases our levels of vitamin D, boosts our mood and can help us to sleep better [i].
But the sunny weather can also cause issues for some, especially those suffering from hay fever. This is because the pollen count can be particularly high when temperatures surpass 13 degrees Celsius as this is the point when trees release their pollen [ii].
Do you suffer from hay fever? If so, you're not alone. Millions of people are affected by this allergy every year.
Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen and can result in a variety of symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to ease your symptoms. In this blog post, we will discuss the role of vitamins and nutrients in hay fever treatment and provide some tips for improving your overall health!
What is Hay Fever, What Causes It and What Are the Symptoms?
Hay fever is a reaction to indoor and outdoor allergens that is usually triggered by pollen, but can also be affected by dust mites, animal fur and more [iv]. The symptoms can differ from person to person, including sneezing, itchy eyes, headaches, tiredness and a runny nose. Hay fever is most commonly caused by trees, grasses, and weeds, and according to NHS England, this can usually be more potent when the weather is warmer, windier and more humid in March-September in the UK [iii].
When these plants release pollen into the air, people with hay fever can have an allergic reaction. Hay fever can be seasonal, meaning it only happens at certain times of the year when pollen is more prevalent, or it can be perennial, which means symptoms can occur all year round [v].
The Thoracic and Sleep Group Queensland report that up to 18% of the population in Australia is affected by hay fever and this can be something that suddenly develops during adulthood too [v].
How to Ease the Symptoms of Hay Fever?
There is no known cure for hay fever, but there are ways to ease your symptoms. One way to do this is by taking vitamins, supplements and natural ingredients. Let's get into some things that can have a positive impact:
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps to reduce inflammation, due to how it could eliminate free radicals [vi]. Hay fever can cause inflammation in the nose especially, causing irritation and what we know to be 'a runny nose'. Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine, which can help to reduce the symptoms of allergies as well as promote a strong immune system [vii].
Zinc is a mineral that is essential for a healthy immune system but can also reduce the symptoms of allergies [ix].
A study consisting of candidates from the 5th Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010, along with 1,867 adults, highlighted that their "findings demonstrated that increased total and allergen-specific IgE levels are significantly associated with decreased Zn [zinc] levels" [viii].
You can learn more about the health benefits of this powerhouse ingredient on the link here.
Staying hydrated is important for overall health, but it is especially important when you have hay fever. Water helps to thin mucus, which can help to reduce congestion, and clear the throat of any lingering pollen [xi] [x].
Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and hit your daily recommended amount of 6 to 8 cups [xii].
Vitamin D is important for immune health, boosting T-cells, and strengthening bones, and it has been reported in the media that there could be a link between low levels of vitamin D and being at an increased risk of allergies [xiii] [xiv].
We published an in-depth blog post about the immunity benefits of vitamin D on the link here.
As well as highlighting ingredients which could help to ease the symptoms of hay fever, it's also worth noting that there are some myths online, or suggestions that have inconclusive results, including how honey could be a solution. One particular study did indicate that local honey could relieve the symptoms of hay fever [xv], but this does conflict with additional studies on the topic that find no correlation [xvi].
Probiotics such as LactoSpore can relieve the symptoms of hay fever [xvii]. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2017 investigated the effects of probiotics on allergies over an 8-week period. Those participants who were outside the placebo group showed improvements to allergy symptoms [xvii].
We did a blog post which touched on the health benefits of Pro, Post and Prebiotics that you can read here if you wanted to know more about them.
How to Add These to Your Diet?
If you are suffering from hay fever or other allergies, then please consult your local GP. You can also supplement ingredients into your diet that may help to combat the symptoms and side effects.
You can add vitamin C, vitamin D3, zinc, and LactoSpore to your very own personalised gummy vitamin today at Nourished. Each of our delicious gummies packs 7-high-impact ingredients into a single stack. You can take our short consultation to get a personalised recommendation or create your own vitamin from our lab.
Want to Learn More?
If you would like to read more of the studies, claims and references cited in this article then please visit the links below and click the link here: