Tips And Tricks To Relieve The Symptoms Of Hayfever And Allergic Rhinitis

Find out how to relieve hayfever symptoms with these simple diet and lifestyle recommendations.

Tips And Tricks To Relieve The Symptoms Of Hayfever And Allergic Rhinitis photo

How to relieve hayfever and allergic rhinitis naturally with these diet and lifestyle tips.

Hayfever or allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to pollen, usually either tree pollens in springtime or grass pollen across the summer. Typical symptoms are runny nose, frequent sneezing and streaming, and itchy eyes. If you suffer from hayfever or allergic rhinitis, here are some useful tips to help you relieve symptoms and reduce their effect on your life.

Top tips for relieving Hayfever and Allergic Rhinitis symptoms

Check your Vitamin D status

Vitamin D is an immunomodulator, meaning it helps to regulate your immune system and its response to threats such as pollen. Vitamin D also supports the mucous membranes of the nose and is involved in cell and muscle cell growth and survival. Low Vitamin D status has been shown to have an impact on severity of allergic rhinitis. Your GP or health practitioner can arrange for testing of your Vitamin D status.

You can support your vitamin D status by getting outside in direct sunshine as this is how our body mainly acquires Vitamin D. You can also get some Vitamin D from foods such as oily fish (Salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring), eggs and mushrooms. Alternatively, you can support your levels, especially in the winter months, using supplements.

Top up with antioxidant foods

Antioxidant foods support the immune system by helping to mop-up Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), commonly known as “free radicals” which are produced in the body when the immune system is activated in response to a threat from an allergen.

Dietary antioxidants (such as sulforaphane found in broccoli and cabbage; quercetin found in onions and tea) found in a diet rich in vegetables and fruit have been shown to help relieve allergic rhinitis, as has a diet containing a regular intake of omega-3 fats, found in linseeds/flaxseeds, walnuts, oily fish (salmon, trout, anchovies, mackerel, herring, sardines. In addition, ginger and berries provide polyphenols that help prevent allergic rhinitis.

Consider taking a multi-strain probiotic

Recent research has shown that a multi-strain probiotic can help relieve allergic rhinitis as it improves the gut microbiome and immune system health. This helps strengthen resilience against allergic reaction to pollen and other airborne particles.

Remove high histamine foods

When we develop hayfever or allergic rhinitis, our body naturally produces histamine as part of the immune response. The body controls histamine levels via detoxification processes. The amount of histamine that each person can handle is individual to each person, meaning that some people are more sensitive to histamine than others.

Some foods naturally contain histamine (e.g. aged cheese, fermented foods such as sauerkraut and yogurt, smoked and processed meats, dried fruits, alcohol, especially red wine) and others release histamine when eaten (e.g. tomatoes, walnuts, bananas, strawberries, Brussel sprouts, chocolate, pulses and legumes). During hayfever season, it can be helpful to limit your intake of these foods to minimise the amount of food-sourced histamine in your body to reduce your overall histamine levels.

Lifestyle tips for relieving hayfever and allergic rhinitis symptoms
  • Smear Vaseline around your nostrils to prevent pollen particles entering the nasal cavities
  • Wear wraparound glasses to prevent pollen particles getting into your eyes
  • Shower and change your clothes regularly to wash away any pollen particles that you may have picked up whilst outside
  • Keep windows and doors shut to prevent pollen drifting into rooms

In summary, hayfever and allergic rhinitis can be debilitating for the individual. Our tips above may help to relieve some or all of the symptoms. Being prepared for the seasonal effects of pollen and airborne irritants on your life can help to lessen their impact too.

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Çoban, K., et al. (2019) The Impact of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 Levels on Allergic Rhinitis. Ear, Nose and Throat Journal, [online] 100(5).

Gref, A., et al. (2017) Dietary total antioxidant capacity in early school age and subsequent allergic disease. Clinical and Experimental Allergy, [online] 47(6), pp.751–759.

Han, M., Lee, D., Lee, S.H. and Kim, T.H. (2021) Oxidative stress and antioxidant pathway in allergic rhinitis. Antioxidants, [online] 10(8).

Kawamoto, Y., et al. (2016) Prevention of allergic rhinitis by ginger and the molecular basis of immunosuppression by 6-gingerol through T cell inactivation. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, [online] 27, pp.112–122.

Murdaca, G., et al. (2021) Vitamin d and microbiota: Is there a link with allergies? International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(8).

Sawane, K., et al. (2019) Dietary omega-3 fatty acid dampens allergic rhinitis via eosinophilic production of the anti-allergic lipid mediator 15-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid in mice. Nutrients, [online] 11(12).