My Hay fever first aid kit

Are you suffering with hay fever? Are you also sick and tired of feeling rubbish and miserable with it for weeks? Or just getting on with it taking antihistamine? Did you know that you could ease some of the symptoms with your diet and lifestyle? I am sharing all that helped me and my family in the past, including science backed information that you could quickly and easily implement. No, I am not saying to bin your meds, please do as your GP advises but if you are keen to feel better, there are things you can do. Here we go…



My hay fever busting strategies

1.) Let’s reduce inflammation!

With omega 3. Omega 3 can be found in animal and plant sources, but human body can utilise the DHA and EPA in omega 3 better from an animal source rather than a plant based one. It doesn’t mean that the anti-inflammatory effects of seeds and nuts for example don’t matter! Do include these in your diet as these have many other health benefits too. However, to give your body a good dose that can make a difference, you will need to eat oily fish ideally 2-3 times a week. Good sources are salmon, herring, mackerel, seabass, fresh tuna, trout, etc. Plant based: chia seeds, flaxseeds, hempseed, nuts and oils from these, seaweed. Some fortified products too, such as milk, yoghurt and also eggs. Recommended daily supplement of omega 3 for an adult should contain 750mg EPA and 250 mg DHA.

Swap to olive oil to cook. Vegetable oils are high is omega 6 that we only need small amounts of. Most people consume way too much of it which can trigger inflammation. Omega 6 turns into pro-inflammatory prostaglandins that will make things worse. Olive oil contains an oleic acid that has no bearing on inflammation and much safer to use. It is also a staple of the Mediterranean diet, that is one of the healthiest to follow – backed up by many research.

2.)  Boost the immune system: 

Your immune system gets triggered by the allergen and in turn it produces histamine to deal with the “attack”. So for me the obvious step would be to boost the immune system with everything you can. You can take supplements if you find these help, but always consult with your pharmacist or GP before doing so.

You want to increase vitamin C intake, so have some berries for breakfast or a snack and eat plenty of vegetables (spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers to name a few) with your meals to increase your vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is water soluble which means it doesn’t stay in your body for too long. Vitamin C can interact with mast cells to reduce histamine release in the body which is why it is important to include in your diet on high pollen count days.

Our body produces histamine; some bacteria in our gut also produces histamine. This may be the reason why some new research suggests that probiotics/ prebiotic food could reduce symptoms of asthma and hay fever (but calling for more research to be done). Some fruits and vegetables naturally contain histamine, so recommended to eat food that contain low amounts of this.

3.) Other dietary changes:

Low histamine foods to consume if possible, which are most fresh foods, eggs, especially quail eggs, fresh herbs. How you cook food will influence the histamine levels, so instead of frying, try poaching or boiling the meat or fish. (Frying supposed to increase the histamine levels.) Mozzarella, cottage cheese, mascarpone and ricotta are low in histamine, while aged, fermented cheese will contain higher amounts of it. Asparagus, broccoli, celery, courgettes, cucumber, fennel, onions are also low in histamine.

“Grilled seafood had higher histamine levels than raw or boiled seafood. For meat, grilling increased the histamine level, whereas boiling decreased it. For eggs, there was not much difference in histamine level according to cooking method. Fried vegetables had higher histamine levels than raw vegetables. And fermented foods didn’t show much difference in histamine level after being boiled.” (Chung, B. Y. et al, 2017 – Effects of different cooking methods…)

Please note that some people can be more sensitive to histamine foods than others so maybe keeping a food diary would be a good idea. If unsure, please speak to your doctor.

Cut processed food and sugar to minimum: Sugar can weaken the immune system so preferably have healthy snacks including natural sugars, i.e. homemade energy bars, granola snacks or flapjack.

Quercetin rich food are natural anti-histamines: red onions, red apples and red cabbage – which would make a nice coleslaw with a kefir dressing.

Bromelain found in pineapples (nearest to the core is the highest concentration) has potent anti-inflammatory properties. This could be a good snack or addition to your breakfast.

Caffeine: if you are on medication, check if it is ok to consume caffeine products, as these could sometimes counteract with them. Caffeine can interfere with your sleep and if already having issues with this, you should opt for decaffeinated versions. Caffeine is diuretic which means it draws liquid out and can dehydrate you, making your throat dry and itchy, multiplying your hay fever symptoms.

Herbal teas: nettle tea has been recommended by one of my friends which I am currently trialling out. If you have some in your garden, use that, otherwise a tea bag will just do. Nettle contains antioxidant compounds, such as  adenine, nicotinamide, synephrine, and osthole. It also helps block histamine production and release, which is why it is worth giving it a go.

Other herbal teas, such as chamomile that has anti-inflammatory effects, and also green tea which is full of antioxidants.  Licorice and peppermint tea is also used to

Local honey: is what most people will opt for. The idea behind is that it introduces small amounts of the pollen to your body slowly building up resistance. Taking a teaspoon of it every day is the recommended amount.

4.) Lifestyle uplift:

Avoid smoking or being around people who smoke as this can trigger and worsen your symptoms.

Sleep hygiene: your hay fever might be making it hard for you to drop off and can make you feel awfully tired in the morning – today is one of those days for me! If you are on antihistamine that makes you drowsy, it may help to fall asleep. However, not all medication have these side effects now. (Research suggests that some of the newer meds do not have this side effect so it if you are taking one of those, you might still have sleep issues.) Things that help me: camomile tea- but at least 2 hours prior to bed; reading something instead of watching a film that will overstimulate my nervous system before bed; a light yoga flow to help calm my busy brain.

5.) Everything else:

  • Wash your hair daily (sorry if you have a long hair do – I feel your pain as my youngest has Rapunzel hair, no I am not kidding!)
  • Dry your clothes inside or in a dryer even if the weather is great outside, don’t be tempted to use the solar powder, as your clothes will be covered in pollen.
  • Wear fresh clothes daily (note to self, get the kids use the washing basket!).
  • Close your windows to avoid pollen getting inside.
  • Use a barrier cream under your nostrils such as Hay max.
  • Goes without saying but try to avoid gardening (or if you do, use some Hay max and sunglasses).
  • Use an eye drop.
  • A.Vogel – Pollinosan – Luffa Nasal Spray – really helped me this season. It is a herbal remedy, not a medicine. Here is the link (I am not affiliated with them so this is not an ad): Pollinosan | Allergy Nasal Spray for hayfever & allergies (

6.) Be kind to yourself! 

Suffering with hay fever – if you are like me – you already feel fed up, and irritated with most likely less energy than you usually have. Instead of pushing your daily activities that used to charge you up, try listen to your body and give it a bit of a TLC. Your immune system will be full on working so it is normal that you feel like this. You might enjoy a nice swim or a yoga class, or you may just want to relax and read today. And that is ok! This is your permission slip to amend your routine today and give yourself the care your body really needs. When you wake up less symptomatic, you can make up for it! Trust me, you will feel better for it!

With love,



Let me know if this helped and if you fancy a free nutrition coaching consultation with me!

Additional resources to check out:

Hay Fever | Allergy UK | National Charity

10 foods to support your seasonal allergies | BBC Good Food


Dale Pinnock, The Nutrition Bible, 2020, Quadrille Publishing.

The gut microbiome and allergic rhinitis; refocusing on the role of probiotics as a treatment option – PubMed (

Histamine and histamine intolerance | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic (

Effect of Different Cooking Methods on Histamine Levels in Selected Foods – PMC (