The five foods to cut out of your diet if you're suffering hay fever

HAY fever sufferers will usually try all the myths and methods to stop their crippling symptoms in the summer months.

Some are old wives tales and don't work but others really do keep the worst at bay.

Certain foods can alleviate the symptoms, and make allergy season much easier, but others can do more harm than good and make your reactions even worse.

Margo Marrone, co-founder of The Organic Pharmacy, said: "As much we've been looking forward to summer finally arriving, it's not fun and games for everyone.

"Hay fever can be a serious hassle, and can sometimes make it difficult to enjoy the summer months to the fullest.

"Food can have a major impact on our body's reaction to pollen. Although this can be frustrating, it can actually be beneficial too.

"If we know what to eat and what to avoid, it becomes a lot easier for us to manage our symptoms."

Here we have collected the five foods you should avoid to beat the symptoms…

Aged cheese

This is one of the worst foods you can have for allergies, according to experts at The Organic Pharmacy.

It's because it contains histamines, which causes allergic reactions and can make hay fever symptoms worse.

These histamines are created by bacterial microbes, which grow on the rind of aged cheese to help it ripen and protect it from harmful pathogens.


Most types of dairy make symptoms of allergic reactions more severe, because it increases the body's mucus production.

This means it's even more difficult to shift the blocked nose that comes with hay fever.

But by using almond or oat milk instead of cow's milk in your tea, it can reduce the amount of mucus.


Lots of booze contains histamines which can make things worse.

As can the sulphites that are found in most alcohol…

But if you want to have a drink that is the least likely to make you feel worse, go for gin and vodka – as they have the lowest level of histamines.


Pollen-food syndrome (otherwise known as oral allergy syndrome) is a form of hay fever that is triggered by certain types of pollen – the three main ones being birch, grass, and ragweed.

Some foods (usually fruit and veg) contain protein that is similar to these types of pollen.

When people with pollen-food syndrome eat them, their body mistakes these foods for the pollen, which causes a reaction.

Symptoms of this form of hay fever include swollen lips, an itchy mouth, and an itchy inner ear.

Melon is a major trigger for people with pollen-food syndrome, as it is bad for those who are sensitive to both grass and ragweed pollen.

But there are many other foods that may trigger this allergy too, such as celery, bananas, and pitted fruits.


Coffee is another drink that must be avoided.

As well as triggering the release of the hay fever sufferer's enemy, histamine, it has been found to cause liver congestion, which makes symptoms even more severe.

It may not quite bring the same kick, but try swapping your morning coffee for a cup of chamomile tea.

This clears the excess mucus that hay fever triggers, and keeps sinuses clear.

What should you have instead?

There are still plenty of tasty foods that aren't just perfect for summer, but can help ease hay fever symptoms too.  

Anti-inflammatory foods, such as berries, fish, and broccoli, are great at keeping swelling down.

Pineapple is another tasty hay-fever reliever, as it is full of enzymes that soothe inflammation.

And if you run out of antihistamines, go for onions… They contain a natural antihistamine called quercetin, which calms the cells reacting to the allergens.

Experts say that one of the best ways to combat hay fever is to stay indoors.

But if you do go outside there are some measures you can take to ease those symptoms.

Allergy expert Max Wiseberg said: “Tie your hair up and wear a hat when outside to prevent pollen particles being caught in your hair and wear wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen particles coming in contact with your eyes.

"Keep well hydrated and eat lots of fruit and vegetables to stay healthy and support your immune system.

"Shower at night before sleeping to remove pollen particles from your hair and body.”

You should also make sure any pets are well groomed and shampooed, as they can carry pollen particles in their fur, and keep them out of the room where you sleep.

There are also conventional over-the-counter medicines which can combat hay fever symptoms.

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