Do you suffer from the miserable symptoms of hayfever or other allergies such as eczema, asthma, dermatitis, itchy eyes, chronic nasal congestion or catarrh? The good news is that with the right intake of certain nutrients it is possible to reduce your allergic potential and the likelihood of experiencing these symptoms.
Here Patrick Holford lists the best hayfever and allergy fighters.
Vitamin C is considered to be the best all-round anti-allergy vitamin. Besides for its anti-inflammatory properties, it can calm allergic reactions and is a strong booster for the immune system. Patrick recommends 1,000 mg (1g) a day with 2,000mg (2g) being the optimal dosage if you have allergies.
Vitamin C is found in fresh fruits and vegetables though you would have to eat an enormous amount to consume 2000mg! Eg 100g of peppers contains about 100mg of Vitamin C, 100g of broccoli contains 110mg and 100g of strawberries 60mg – assuming they were fresh.
Omega-3 fish oils are one of the best natural anti-inflammatory fighters available.
Although you can, and should, obtain these from eating “unfried”, “unbreaded” oily fish, Patrick also recommends supplementing with omega-3 fish oils every day.
1,000mg of combined EPA and DHA – the most powerful omega-3 fatty acids – taken daily is recommended (7,000mg a week). Eating oily fish such as salmon or mackerel three times a week, combined with these supplements, is a good way to reach the recommended 7,000mg a week.
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid, with potent antioxidant properties, which regulates histamine production. It can be found in foods such as red onions, apples and berries, but it is difficult to eat more than 20mg a day. Supplementing amounts is necessary if you are suffering from allergies, with the recommended dosage being 500mg three times a day when experiencing severe symptoms and then dropping to 500mg once a day once the allergic reaction is under control. This maintenance dose could also aid with reducing allergic potential.
MSM is seen to be the most beneficial supplement to allergy sufferers. Studies have shown that volunteers who were given a daily dose of 1,300mg showed significant reductions in symptoms such as nasal congestion and coughing. If you are suffering for a long period of time with allergic symptoms, or are in pain, it is a good idea to take a daily supplement of MSM, starting the dosage at 1,000mg a day.
Glutamine is an essential supplement used to restore healthy mucous membranes. It is also useful in the support of a healthy immune system and in the protection of the liver. Glutamine can also be used to heal a leaky gut – a symptom of allergic reactions – and so it is recommended as part of a daily allergy fighting regime, with a dose of 500mg daily. To aid a leaky gut, increase this to 8g a day for a period of 3 weeks. If you prefer to use Glutamine powder, a heaped teaspoon in a glass of cold water will yield the best results – take this on an empty stomach.
Bromelain is found in pineapple stems, and is a group of proteolytic (protein breakdown) enzymes which have anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling properties. A clinical trial in which participants were given 160mg daily, showed marked improvement in symptoms of nasal drainage and breathing issues. To aid in allergic reactions, take up to 300mg daily, and if you are looking to reduce your allergic potential, take 100mg daily when not experiencing allergic reactions.
Patrick’s allergy diet
To avoid allergic reactions, follow Patrick’s nutrition advice:
- Avoid mucus forming, inflammatory foods such as dairy or meat.
- To reduce your allergic potential, avoid eating foods containing wheat, gluten or yeast.
- Get tested for food allergies, and read Patrick’s book Hidden Food Allergies to help you discover what food allergies you may have.
- Try to increase your consumption of fresh, local fruits and vegetables. Have at least 3 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
- Aside from eating oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines to increase your Omega-3 intake, add plenty of linseeds and pumpkin seeds to your diet.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, as it can disrupt your gut which can lead to higher allergic potential.
- Drink at least 2 litres of pure water a day.