The pollen count has been forecast by the Met office to be low across most parts of the UK. In the East of England, the South East of England and London the pollen count is set to be moderate. While pollen counts appear mild, in some hay fever sufferers, symptoms could still be triggered. Antihistamine tablets and nasal sprays are recommended by medical professionals to relieve symptoms, but can eating certain foods also help?
Vitamin C has been shown in studies to boost the immune system and act as a natural antihistamine.
A 2018 study on vitamin C in the treatment of allergies found oxidative stress plays a key role in allergies.
And as vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it may act as a treatment for allergies.
The researchers who carried out the study observed high doses of intravenous vitamin C reduced allergy symptoms.
They also found a deficiency in vitamin C may lead to allergy-related diseases.
Another study carried out in 2000 suggested taking 2g of vitamin C daily to act as an antihistamine.
Vitamin C is available as a supplement but can also be found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.
According to the NHS, good sources include:
- Oranges and orange juice
- Red and green peppers
- Brussels sprouts
The Department of Health and Social Care advises if you take vitamin C supplements, not to take too much as this can be harmful.
Taking less than 1,000mg of vitamin C supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.
Allergy UK offers some additional tips for keeping hay fever at bay.
It advises: “Monitor pollen forecasts daily and stay indoors wherever possible when the count is high (generally on warmer, dry days). Rain washes pollen from the air so counts should be lower on cooler, wet days.
“On high pollen days, shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothing.
“Avoid drying washing on a clothes-line outside when pollen counts are high.
“Apply an effective allergen barrier balm around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollens and other allergens and help prevent a reaction.”