Gut Health Blog

March 24, 2024

Can Diet Help Relieve Hay Fever?

Spring is here which means seasonal allergies are too! Tree, grass, and weed pollen make life miserable for millions of hay fever sufferers every year, causing sneezing fits, sore throats, and stuffy noses. Antihistamine drugs may help but often have side effects like drowsiness. But what about food? Can diet help relieve hay fever?

 

What Is Hay Fever?

Hay fever, or seasonal allergic rhinitis as it is officially known, occurs when your immune system reacts to pollen from grasses, trees, flowers, and weeds.

The pollen irritates the lining of your nose, eyes, and throat, causing immune cells to release histamine and other inflammatory chemicals. This leads to itching, swelling, and irritation.

Typical hay fever symptoms include:

    • Sore throat.
    • Tickly cough.
    • Runny or blocked, stuffy nose.
    • Itchy, watery eyes.
    • Sneezing.
    • Headache.
    • Mucous in your throat.

 

When Is Hay Fever Season?

Hay fever season starts in late Winter / early Spring when the tree pollens appear. This is soon followed by grasses in late Spring and early Summer and weed pollen in Fall. Spring and Fall are often peak seasons for seasonal allergic rhinitis, although pollen levels vary according to your location and climate.

 

Who Is Prone to Hay Fever?

Anyone of any age can suffer from hay fever. Some people grow out of their childhood hay fever and no longer experience any symptoms as an adult. Others develop it for the first time in their twenties or thirties, or even later. Many women start with seasonal allergic rhinitis and other allergies during menopause when hormone changes affect immune and gut health.

 

How Long Does Hay Fever Last?

This varies from person to person. If you are only sensitive to one type of pollen, your symptoms will subside when that pollen level drops. If you are sensitive to several types of pollen your symptoms can potentially last from late Winter through to Fall.

 

Why Is My Hay Fever So Bad All of a Sudden?

There are several reasons why seasonal allergies can suddenly get worse.

Stress has a major impact on immune health. If you are under a lot of stress, your immune system may not work as effectively.

Illness and infection can affect the membranes lining your nose and throat and leave you more sensitive to pollen.

Location change. If you’ve moved to a different city or even a different part of the same city, the pollen levels may be higher than where you lived before.

Air pollution from traffic fumes can make hay fever worse for some sufferers.

Weather patterns affect pollen levels. A mild winter followed by a cool spring and a sudden burst of warmth in early summer can trigger a pollen burst that can worsen symptoms.

 

Can Diet Help Relieve Hay Fever?

Yes! Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle can be hugely beneficial for managing seasonal allergic rhinitis. The clue here is in the name of the condition. The word “rhinitis” translates as “inflammation of the nose,” meaning the membranes lining the nose are inflamed.

The Eat Burn Sleep anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle program minimises inflammation by supporting gut and immune health. These two systems are intrinsically linked because so much of your immune system resides in the gut.

Alongside these immune cells, your gut microbiome is also hard at work supporting immunity. It helps to regulate immune responses and inflammation and communicates with other microbiomes in the body, such as the oral and nasal microbiomes.

Research shows that people with allergic rhinitis have an altered microbiome in the nasal passages which may be associated with inflammation (Chen et al, 2022). As we can’t micromanage individual bacteria within a microbiome, it’s important to create the right environment for beneficial species to thrive. Following an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle is the ideal way to do this. I suggest the 6-Week Reset as the place to start – it has all the meal plans, food lists, and guidance you need to begin your anti-inflammatory journey.

 

Here’s what EBS Member Eleonora has to say about the program:

I’m in the sixth week of the Six Week Reset and I cannot thank Yalda enough for the EBS lifestyle. During the last two years, I’ve struggled a lot with various issues like bloating, being overweight, psoriasis, thyroid malfunction, and acne, but now I’ve found the lifestyle that is the answer to all my problems.

I finally started losing weight, changing my body composition, feeling energetic all day long, less bloated, fewer cravings in my PMS phase, and still counting the benefits!

This lifestyle completely switched my body and my mind, and I cannot live without all the specialized advice I can find on the EBS platform anymore. Again, thanks Yalda for your great work!

Want to know more about Eat Burn Sleep? You can take a sneak peek around the platform here and check out our membership options here.

 

And you might also like to read:

The Anti-inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle

Does Sleep Help With Inflammation?

What is Gut Health?

 

Here’s to a happy and healthy hay fever season,

Yalda x

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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February 25, 2024

Heart Health: Do You Have a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. Nearly 18.6 million people died from cardiovascular disease in 2019, yet most cases are preventable. Along with Type 2 Diabetes, cancer, and obesity, heart disease is one of a growing number of non-communicable diseases that can be prevented through diet and lifestyle changes.

Here at Eat Burn Sleep we firmly believe in the power of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and the benefits it has for heart health. But do you have a heart-healthy lifestyle?

 

What is heart disease?

Heart disease or cardiovascular disease as it is better known is the collective name for conditions that affect the heart and circulatory system. Some of these conditions are congenital and people are born with them, while others can be triggered by diet, stress, and lifestyle.

Heart disease includes:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Coronary Artery Disease: This includes arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and atherosclerosis, where arteries are blocked by fatty deposits.
  • Cardiomyopathy – weakening of the heart muscle
  • Stroke
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Angina
  • Heart failure

 

How do I know if I am at risk of heart disease?

Heart health research reveals 5 major risks for cardiovascular disease:

Chronic inflammation: We all need to have some level of inflammatory response to illness and injury as this is part of a normal and healthy immune reaction. However, chronic or systemic inflammation is harmful to health and linked with a wide range of conditions including heart disease.

Metabolic issues like obesity, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and poor cholesterol balance (too much LDL cholesterol and not enough HDL cholesterol).

Smoking.

Lack of physical activity.

Diets that are low in fiber, good fats, fruits, and vegetables, and high in Ultra Processed Foods, refined sugar,  and unhealthy fats.

Genetic predispositions – remember though that genes can be “switched on” by lifestyle factors and inflammation.

 

Menopause and heart health

The risk of heart disease increases greatly after menopause when estrogen levels are much lower. This is because estrogen supports heart health in several ways (Ryczkowska et al, 2022):

  • Keeps blood vessels supple and flexible so they can respond to changes in blood pressure.
  • Regulates cholesterol levels.
  • Decreases the risk of blood clots.
  • Provides antioxidant protection against inflammation.
  • Supports energy production in heart muscle cells.

 

The earlier menopause occurs, the greater the risk of developing heart disease.  This is important for women who go through menopause before the age of 40 and for Black and Hispanic women as research shows they may reach menopause earlier than white, Japanese, and Chinese women (Harlow et al, 2022).

But no matter what your age or ethnicity, there is so much you can do with an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle to mitigate this risk! To find out more see my Perimenopause and Menopause video where I explain in detail how the EBS approach can help manage the effects of menopause.

 

What is Heart-Healthy Living?

Heart-healthy living involves recognizing and understanding your risk of heart disease and taking positive steps to reduce this and improve your health and well-being.

The idea of heart-healthy living is built into everything we do at EBS. Tackling chronic inflammation with diet and lifestyle changes addresses several key risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Diet

The EBS Food Lists and meal plans are built around colorful, tasty, anti-inflammatory foods. They support gut health and a healthy immune response and address the nutritional imbalances that are at the root of metabolic issues like Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance – key risk factors for heart disease.

Specific fruits and vegetables are part of our Food Lists for two very important reasons. Firstly, they contain natural anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, and secondly, they are natural modulators of proinflammatory gene expression (Zhu et al, 2017). This means they can influence gene expression and literally “turn off” pro-inflammatory genes.

To help you incorporate these foods into your daily life we have meal plans and over 330+ recipes to choose from.

 

Physical activity

At EBS we believe movement is key to healthy longevity. We have a library of 180+ different anti-inflammatory movement videos designed to fit into even the most hectic of lifestyles. These videos help with healthy circulation, body composition, weight balance, physical strength, and mental resilience. Above all, they are the perfect antidote to a sedentary lifestyle!

And it’s not just food and movement. Mental well-being and stress management are crucial for managing inflammation and living a heart-healthy lifestyle. In EBS you will find guided meditations for mental health and a series of Masterclass sessions to inform and inspire.

Remember, conscious effort combined with science is powerfully effective in the fight against heart disease.

Want to know more about Eat Burn Sleep? Take a sneak peek around the platform and check out our membership options here.

 

And you might also like to read:

How Do You Reduce Your Cholesterol?

The Anti-inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle

10 Reasons to Walk

 

From my heart to yours,

Yalda x

Yalda Alaoui

Author

Eat. Burn. Subscribe.

Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

Continue Reading

Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat Quickly

Is AG1 Supplement Good for You?

Is Stress Always Bad For Your Health?