5 foods to combat hay fever

20 April 2017 by
First published: 9 July 2016

Here’s the top 5 foods to combat hay fever. Because, as much as we love the warmer months, they do come with a couple of niggling drawbacks – sweaty skin, insect bites and worst of all, hay fever. The itchy, runny, red eyes, puffiness, and general congestion – we know the telltale signs. And while antihistamines can offer quick relief, popping a pill everyday throughout the summer months isn’t really a sustainable solution to beating the hay fever blues.

Affecting around 18 million Brits, hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen in trees, grass and weeds, which triggers the immune system to respond as if it were being attacked by a virus. Watching what you eat can make a big difference to sufferers’ misery as certain foods contain immunity-fighting properties to help you get through allergy season without a sneeze in sight. These are the top five everyday foods on our feel-good list.


1 Garlic

Add more garlic to your diet in order to beat hay fever symptoms. With natural anti-inflammatory properties, garlic also contains quercetin, a natural antihistamine – just remember to crush the cloves or eat them raw to effectively release the medicinal compounds.


2 Chilli

Spicing up your plate with chilli helps to combat hay fever sniffles by opening up nasal passages. The heat in chilli contains an active property called capsaicin, which reduces hay fever congestion.


3 Lemon

When the heat is on, lemon offers the ultimate in summer refreshment, but the tangy citrus fruit also doubles up as a natural hay fever aid. Containing vitamin C and flavonoids, lemon is prized as a natural decongestant with antihistamine benefits. Slice it up and add to iced water or squeeze over salads as a natural dressing.


4 Honey

Honey is thought to be a potent hay fever-fighter thanks to its natural pollen properties, which makes your body resistant to other pollens. Choose Manuka honey over other varieties because it’s high in medicinal properties.


5 Onions

Just like garlic, onion is also a good source of quercetin, which helps to reduce symptoms in hay fever sufferers. Eating onion raw over cooked will help to release its powerful anti-histamine properties, so throw a handful into summer salads for a big immunity hit.