Foods that could help with hay fever as Met Office issues pollen bomb warning

Nose, tissue and woman in a living room with flu, cold and hay fever, crisis or viral infection in her home. Sneezing, allergies and female with paper in a lounge, fever or coughing illness in house
An expert has revealed which foods could help to ease hay fever symptoms. (Getty Images)

Hay fever season is back and the Met Office has warned that high grass pollen levels could affect as many as 15 million Brits this week.

This is bad news for the estimated 49% of UK adults who report enduring hay fever symptoms each year, as pollen contains proteins that can cause sufferers’ noses, eyes, throats, and sinuses to become swollen, irritated, and inflamed.

However, while there are some over the counter medicines to buy that can help to ease ailments, what you eat could also help to lessen hay fever symptoms.

"While it’s suggested that certain food groups can help to lessen the symptoms you experience during allergy season, it’s important to remember that these can have a different effect on different people. What works for one, may not work for another," nutritionist and chef, Lily Keeling, says.

"When experimenting with new ways to help reduce symptoms, I advise focusing on eating a well-rounded, nutritional diet, packed with essential healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. This way, your body has all the nutrients it needs to fight symptoms and support overall well-being, and promote healing."

So, what foods can help with hay fever? Read on to find out.

Adults should consume around 40mg of vitamin C a day to ward off any unsavoury hay fever symptoms. This can be found in fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruit, kiwis, and vegetables such as red peppers, kale, and Brussels sprouts.

vitamin C: citrus
Vitamin C can help to keep hay fever symptoms at bay. (Getty Images)

"As part of a well balanced diet, it’s important to incorporate healthy fats, such as omega 3 found in oily types of fish," Keeling, who works for Green Chef, says.

"While the impact of fatty acids on hay fever symptoms is widely disputed, it’s accepted that they are a key part to maintaining overall health. So there’s no harm trying new recipes with oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna."

Both garlic and onions are considered to be anti-inflammatory, which may be able to reduce the symptoms of hay fever.

Local honey is thought to help lessen hay fever symptoms. (Getty Images)
Local honey is thought to help lessen hay fever symptoms. (Getty Images)

"While there is very little scientific evidence that supports this theory, the idea is that by consuming honey that contains local pollen, you may increase your body’s resistance, and therefore lessen your symptoms over time," Keeling explains.

"Honey is a tasty addition to a number of dishes and hot drinks, so there’s no harm in increasing your intake and seeing if you can notice the difference in your symptoms."