Allergy diet: what helps against hay fever & co
Table of contents:
- How does an allergy develop?
- What can you do about an allergy
- Drug therapy
- Low histamine diet
- Avoid allergens
- Tips especially for pollen allergy sufferers
- Supplement omega-3 fatty acids
- Which foods contain omega-3 fatty acids
- Keep an eye on cross-allergies
- Black cumin oil
How does an allergy develop?The task of the immune system is to fight pathogens such as bacteria or viruses. In the case of an allergy, however, our body's own defenses are directed against harmless substances such as plant pollen or food components. Since the 1970s, allergic reactions have become increasingly common. According to the Robert Koch Institute, more than 30% of adults suffer from at least one allergy in the course of their lives. Hay fever is the most common allergy complaint.
What can you do about an allergy?An allergy usually lasts a lifetime. Medication is often the only way out. But there are also alternatives! We show you what can help with an allergy.
Drug therapyMany allergy sufferers resort to medication. Anti-allergic drugs such as antihistamines reduce the symptoms by blocking the receptors for the messenger substance histamine. Histamine causes the typical allergy symptoms such as a runny nose or reddening of the skin.
However, histamine is also an important messenger substance in the central nervous system and is responsible for regulating the appetite and sleep-wake rhythm, among other things. This is why some antihistamines make you tired and are sometimes used in sleeping pills. Other typical side effects are dizziness and headaches. Anyone who suffers from heart, kidney or liver disease, is pregnant or breastfeeding should only take antihistamines after consulting a doctor.
Low histamine dietTo reduce the symptoms of an allergy such as hay fever, it can be helpful to follow a low-histamine diet. Histamine is naturally contained in foods (e.g. in tomatoes or spinach) or is produced by the bacterial breakdown of the amino acid histidine. Foods that are obtained through fermentation or have a long maturing/storage time (e.g. sauerkraut, cheese, sausage, wine or beer) are particularly rich in histamine and should be avoided. Instead, opt for fresh and unprocessed foods.
Avoid allergensIt is not always possible to avoid allergy-causing substances. The easiest way to do this is with food, as allergens must be listed in the list of ingredients. Grasses and pollen are much more difficult to avoid. But here too, there are tips on how to at least reduce contact with allergens.
Tips especially for pollen allergy sufferers
Pollen count calendarOutdoor activities are a challenge with hay fever. A pollen count calendar (e.g. in app form) can help you to assess the current pollen count and plan your activities accordingly.
Ventilate in the eveningAs the pollen count is generally lower in the evening, you should ventilate at this time. Regular vacuuming and mopping also helps to keep pollen levels in the home low.
Shower in the eveningIf you suffer from hay fever, it is best to take a shower in the evening and go to bed with washed hair to reduce the pollen load at night and keep your pillow as pollen-free as possible.
Supplement omega-3 fatty acidsOmega-3 fatty acids are primarily known for their positive effect on our blood vessels and heart health. However, they can also help with allergies and alleviate symptoms. This is due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 fatty acids compete with the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid for the enzymes cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase. Arachidonic acid is converted by these two enzymes into messenger substances (prostaglandins and leukotrienes), which play a role in the development of inflammation and allergies. The fewer omega-3 fatty acids are present, the more omega-6 fatty acids can be converted into pro-inflammatory messenger substances. Messenger substances are also formed from omega-3 fatty acids. However, these have an anti-inflammatory effect and therefore have a positive impact on allergic diseases.
Nutrition for inflammatory diseasesArachidonic acid is mainly found in meat and animal fats or is formed in the body itself from the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid. A diet low in arachidonic acid is therefore recommended for inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as rheumatism or multiple sclerosis.
You can read more about this topic in the blog post What you need to know about omega-3 fatty acids.
Which foods contain omega-3 fatty acids? The omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an essential nutrient. This means that it must be consumed daily through food. Linolenic acid is found in vegetable oils (e.g. rapeseed oil, linseed oil), nuts (e.g. walnuts), chia and linseed, wheat germ and avocado. Our body can form the so-called long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from it, which in turn serve as a precursor for anti-inflammatory messenger substances. However, as the conversion of linolenic acid to EPA or DHA is limited, these two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids should also be consumed in the diet. Unfortunately, these are almost exclusively found in oily sea fish or algae. Vegan food supplements such as nutri + omega-3 capsules help to cover the requirement. For a combined intake of omega-3, vitamin D and K, you can take our O3-D3-K2 tablets. Find out more about the product here.