As Britain enters hay fever season, pollen from trees and plants, especially birch, is beginning to cause major problems for allergy sufferers across the country.
Yet, according to Allergy UK, certain foods can actually make hay fever symptoms 'worse'.
During National Allergy Week, the national medical charity reveal almost 40% of hay fever sufferers also react to one or more of nuts, fruit, vegetables or spices.
In a statement, the charity point out that the protein found in certain hay fever-related pollens is similar to that found in some foods, which could put hay fever sufferers at risk from another allergic condition, oral allergy syndrome.
Lindsey McManus, Allergy UK, explains: “Fifteen years ago oral allergy syndrome was considered unusual but now it is increasingly commonplace. The condition is caused by the proteins in some fruit, nuts, vegetables and spices triggering a cross-reaction in someone with hay fever. When they eat a food that shares similar proteins as the pollen, it can cause an allergic reaction, such as, an itchy mouth, swelling or tingling of lips and tongue.”
With 15 million Brits suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever, the arrival of spring already signals months of misery. But a quarter of sufferers (24%) didn’t even realise that foods could also trigger a reaction.
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.
The research from Allergy UK also revealed more allergy sufferers react to pollen than anything else. But if you seek solace indoors, the home could inadvertently trigger an allergic reaction, with house dust mite being a top three allergen.
This National Allergy Week, the charity reveals the top five allergens affecting the nation:
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