How to Stop Sneezing, Sniffling and Hayfever

  • 14 Oct 2009
  • Reading time 6 mins
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Do you dread the hayfever season? Do you suffer with allergic reactions or have other allergy-linked problems such as eczema, asthma, dermatitis, itchy eyes, chronic nasal congestion or catarrh? 

These symptoms are miserable, but the good news is there are a number of substances that can reduce your allergic potential which you can either eat or supplement. What’s more, it’s also possible to reduce your allergic potential so you’re less likely to have these symptoms in the first place, reduce their severity if you do have them and can also help when you have an ‘attack’.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the most important anti-allergy vitamin. It is a powerful promoter of a strong immune system, immediately calms down allergic reactions and is also anti-inflammatory. Blood levels of vitamin C have been shown to be low both in people with treated and untreated asthma. It’s really recommended for everyone at an absolute minimum of 1,000mg (1g) a day, although 2,000mg (2g) or more is optimum for most people, whether or not you have allergies. If you are suffering from allergic symptoms, you might want to take twice this amount on a regular basis. Since vitamin C is in and out of the body within six hours, it’s best taken in divided doses, either 1g in the morning and 1g at lunch or, if you’re taking larger amounts, 1g four times a day.

You can also increase your vitamin C intake through food by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, although you would have to eat an enormous amount to get up to 2g. For example, 100g of peppers contains about 100mg of vitamin C, 100g of broccoli contains 110mg and 100g of strawberries 60mg, and that’s assuming they are fresh. Foods that contain vitamin C typically also contain antioxidant bioflavonoids such as hesperidin, rutin and quercetin, and these bioflavonoids may actually help the body absorb vitamin C – another good reason to eat vitamin-C-rich foods.

Omega-3

Omega-3 fish oils are one of nature’s best natural anti-inflammatory nutrients, with countless other benefits besides. Although you can and should obtain these from eating unfried, unbreaded oily fish, I also recommend you supplement omega-3 fish oils every day as an insurance policy.

To give you a rough idea, I recommend you take in the equivalent of 1,000mg of combined EPA and DHA (these are the two most powerful omega-3 fatty acids) a day, or 7,000mg a week. A 100g serving of mackerel might give you 2,000mg, while a serving of salmon might give you 1,000mg. So, if you eat fish three times a week you’ll probably achieve 3,500mg a week. To make up the remaining 3,500mg, I recommend you take an omega-3 fish oil supplement providing 500mg of combined EPA and ......

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