Eat to beat.
It's great when the sun comes out unless, like me, you're allergic to pollen. Instead of soaking up the sun in the local park, going on long summer walks and catching up with friends in beer gardens, you'll find me indoors enduring regular twenty-minute-straight sneezing sessions, red eyes and an itchy throat. Hay fever, you demon.
But aside from one-a-day antihistamines, nasal spray and staying indoors, what else can I and the one-fifth of the Irish population be doing to relieve our hay fever symptoms and actually enjoy summer?
Well, finally, it looks like there's good news for millennials as eating avocado and poached eggs is being medicinally recommended by doctors to hay fever sufferers.
According to Dr Preethi, a GP in London, avocado on toast with eggs might be the perfect breakfast for hay fever suffers. The logic is that Omega fatty acids in your diet (found in oily fish, flax seeds, avocado and nuts) helps to boost your immune system as well as having an anti-inflammatory advantage.
But for non-millennials, you might want to try boosting your diet with these natural hay fever remedies…
Although it only relies on anecdotal evidence, a daily dose of local honey is one of the most well-advocated remedies for hayfever - one I can personally recommend. The idea is that locally produced honey, which contains pollen collected by bees from local plants, can act as a natural vaccine. By introducing a small amount of allergen into your body, you're activating your immune system and over time you can build up a natural immunity against it. Make sure you always choose raw, unprocessed honey produced by local bees.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene which your body uses to make vitamin A. This can help keep your mucous membranes healthy rather than dry and irritated, as well as boosting your immune system. They also work as an anti-inflammatory which can help reduce inflammation and irritation caused by hay fever.
Chamomile tea is known for its anti-inflammatory properties which really come into play when suffering from hay fever. Alternatively, a cup of ginger tea is a strong booster of the immune system as is green tea, which can also work as a natural antihistamine, detox your body and give you plenty of energy. If it's your nose that's troubling you, a cup of peppermint tea may relieve nasal congestion and nettle tea is thought to have natural antihistamine properties, which will also help to relieve symptoms.
Put an extra teaspoon into your curry, because this bright yellow spice possesses a wealth of therapeutic properties. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been shown to prevent the release of histamine in the body (which causes hayfever symptoms). It also has anti-inflammatory effects and may help to ease inflamed airways associated with hayfever.
These little bulbs are bursting with anti-viral and antibiotic properties and can help boost your body's immune system, while also acting as a natural decongestant. In addition, garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is a good source of quercetin, a natural antihistamine. However, garlic is most effective when crushed, left to sit for 15 minutes, and then eaten raw. If the idea of raw garlic sounds terrifying, add to a salad dressing or make a pesto, and it's delicious - not daunting.
Tomatoes are bursting with vitamin C, with studies proving they’re great for boosting the immune system, producing a natural antihistamine and building a tolerance against respiratory issues. Indulge in these either whole or in a sauce, and you’ll also be consuming plenty of lycopene, an antioxidant compound.
Main image by @elinwarn