With the hay fever season under way, a recent study has discovered that Brits are sneezing, coughing and spluttering their way through millions of pills to help ease the symptoms.
According to a study of 12m people by Sainsbury’s, hay fever tablet sales have soared by 45% since the beginning of the year, meaning more people that ever are suffering from the dreaded pollen-related symptoms.
And it looks like women are suffering the most - as 72% of hay fever pill takers are women.
What are the symptoms of hay fever?
Hay fever symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, coughing and also wheezing. These are caused by the body’s allergic reaction to various pollens in the environment. These tiny particles are breathed into the nose where an immune reaction is triggered. Histamine is released and irritates the upper respiratory passages causing hay fever symptoms to take hold.
With Brits already being a nation of pill poppers, we’ve rounded a list of foods that help fight hay fever – and lots of other allergies – to stop people raiding the medicine cupboard to alleviate their symptoms.
The anthocyanin compound, found in purplish-red coloured food like beetroots, berries, red grapes and cherries, is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent which help fight allergies.
Turmeric, the yellow-coloured spice commonly found in hot curries, is a great way to ward off pesky allergies. Previous research discovered turmeric has super strength antioxidant qualities which work just as well as anti-inflammatory-rich foods when fighting allergy attacks on the body.
Lemons contain high levels of hesperetin, a potent phytonutrient which packs a powerful antioxidant punch when it comes to beating allergies. It's also a great anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and even lowers cholesterol as an added health boost. These are especially useful for hay fever because of its antihistamine qualities.
Quercetin is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine which helps ward off allergy symptoms like histamine-induced sinus congestion and runny eyes and noses - all common with hay fever. This is because quercetin is believed to help lung function and reduces the risk of lung infection. Add onions to every meal, along with other quercetin-rich foods like apples, parsley, citrus fruits and black tea.
Vitamin C is a great way to keep your immune system in greet shape so that allures have less chance of ruining good health. Mango's are a great alternative if you find oranges too bitter.
These, along with quercetin, are great for providing the body with natural antihistamine which helps prevent the release of histamine which causes allergies to attack. They also boast impressive anti-inflammatory compounds. Garlic is a great way to boost your flavonoid intake as well as <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/19/flavonoid-rich-foods-reduce-heart-disease-diabetes_n_1216378.html" target="_hplink">these flavonoid-rich foods</a>.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are thought to reduce allergic reactions through their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found in such foods as cold-water fish (think salmon), and walnuts.