Tips to keep seasonal sniffles under control

Summer is almost here and as the weather warms up many of us will be spending more time outdoors. If you are a hay-fever sufferer, it is not too late to take action.

Hay fever can affect up to one in four of us. Most sufferers (95 per cent) are allergic to grass pollen, with 25 per cent also allergic to tree pollen.

While many people take anti-histamines to prevent allergic reactions, did you know there is a more natural way?

Michelle Winspear from Advanced Nutrition in the Sanderson Arcade, gives some tips to help you stay sniffle free this hay-fever season.

Try Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract from the bark of a maritime pine tree found in France. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, which make it a natural anti-histamine. In a clinical study, people with an allergy to birch pollen were treated with pycnogenol (50mg twice daily) and only 12 per cent needed conventional anti-histamine drugs. This compares to 50 per cent of those not taking pycnogenol. You could try Pharma Nord’s Bio-Pycnogenol, which is manufactured to pharmaceutical standards. Each tablet is blister-packed to protect the active ingredients.

Plan ahead

Prevention is better than cure, so if you plan to take natural remedies such as Bio-Pycnogenol, try to start early.

The hay-fever season typically runs from March to September. Studies have shown that Pycnogenol is most effective after five weeks of taking the supplement.

Try to de-stress and sleep

Research has shown a link between stress and the severity of hay-fever symptoms. Almost seven out of ten stressed sufferers rate their symptoms as unbearable or debilitating. People who get a good night’s sleep have also been shown to have milder hay-fever symptoms.

Limit your exposure

Keep windows shut at night and first thing in the morning, stay indoors when the pollen count is high, and wash your hands and face regularly.

Think Beta-Glucans

By looking at the problem from a nutritional standpoint, it is possible to protect against the onset of allergies.

Beta 1,3/1,6 glucans are naturally occurring complex sugars obtained from yeasts and fungi.

They help reduce the allergenic response of the immune system, meaning they can combat hay-fever symptoms.

Bio-Glucan Plus also contains SelenoPrecise, a patented organic selenium yeast, and vitamin D3, both of which can help your immune system to stay strong.

Choose a supplement containing beta-glucans with a high degree of purity so they are more effectively recognised by the body.

Exercise and eat well

Research has shown that people who exercise have the mildest symptoms.

Exercise will help reduce your stress levels too.

Aim to do at least two hours of moderate aerobic exercise, such as cycling and fast walking, every week. Symptoms are also less severe in people who eat well.

Aim for a varied, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Come down and see us at Advanced Nutrition for further advice on health and nutrition.