Expert explains when hay fever is worst
With summer well and truly here many of us are affected by the high pollen count that comes with it.
Around one in five people are thought to suffer from hay fever – an allergic reaction to grass, plant and tree pollen.
Symptoms can be frustrating and make everyday life difficult, and include problems such as itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing and an itchy throat.
While there are medicinal remedies available such as antihistamine tablets, there are some other ways to potentially minimise symptoms.
One such way is diet. Experts from furniture and mattress suppliers Bed Kingdom recommended eating more of a specific fruit if you suffer from hay fever.
They said: “Pineapples are well known for being packed with vitamin C, which reduces how much histamine your body produces in response to allergens.
“But they are less known for containing bromelain, an enzyme with natural anti-inflammatory properties. It is useful for allergies, eczema, and asthma.
“Bromelain produces substances in the body that help fight inflammation, swelling, nasal congestion, and respiratory problems, boosting resistance to the worst hay fever symptoms.
“It is naturally found in the juice and stem of a pineapple, so including this tropical fruit in your diet can help relieve symptoms caused by pollen like red, itchy eyes, sneezing, and coughing.
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“Our bodies cannot produce bromelain, so eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice can help boost our response to allergies. Bromelain is also available in capsules.”
They explained in more detail how bromelain lessens the effects of hay fever.
“Pollen is protein-rich, and it is these proteins that can cause swelling, inflammation, and irritation to the nose, eyes, throat, and sinuses,” they said.
“When taken on an empty stomach, bromelain breaks down these proteins, so more of it gets digested and less in our bloodstream, where hay fever symptoms can trigger.
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“So when you take bromelain, less of these proteins are in the bloodstream, which reduces symptoms.”
They added: “Another benefit is pain relief. Bromelain has been used to help arthritis sufferers reduce joint pain and stiffness and has shown promising results in clinical studies.
“Its dual pain and swelling relief properties make bromelain useful for post-dental surgery recovery.
“It has also been used as a cream to treat burns and remove dead skin.”
Although bromelain can be taken as a supplement, they advised against this if you are allergic or sensitive to pineapple, celery, carrot, or fennel.
The experts said: “Contact your health provider for advice before taking bromelain.”
They also advised against eating pineapple just before bed in certain cases.
“Pineapples are highly acidic, so avoiding them before bed or if you have acid reflux or heartburn is best,” they said.
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