With spring in full swing and summer just on the horizon, no doubt many of you out there are already starting to suffer with the dreaded hay fever. It really can ruin this time of year, can’t it? No one likes walking around with sniffling noses and itchy, watery eyes, sneezing here, there and everywhere… and sometimes there’s no respite from it whatsoever.

Or is there? With new research from Kantar Health, Kantar Worldpanel and Lightspeed Health showing that around a third of people in Britain suffer when the pollen count is on the rise, now’s the perfect time to try and find a remedy that works for you. Apparently, last year 31 per cent of people said they had experienced hay fever, up on the 26 per cent seen in 2016 – so it seems more of us are suffering than ever before.

If you’d rather not take prescription medicine to treat your symptoms, why don’t you see if you can manage them through your diet instead?

Stocking up on vitamin C can really help, because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine… but did you know that the likes of lemons and kiwi actually have more vitamin C in them than oranges do? A really tasty breakfast that could ease your symptoms is a smoothie made from a frozen banana, a kiwi, a handful of baby spinach and half a cup of water. And don’t forget to squeeze lemon juice into your water in the morning, either.

If you find your nose is really congested, why don’t you try eating some pineapple? This has lots of bromelain in it, which can really help with inflammation, so give it a go if you’re really struggling to breathe through your nose.

Other delicious food to make sure you stock up on at this time of year is raw onion (perfect in sandwiches or in salads), turmeric, green fruits and vegetables, and ginger. Ginger is actually a really good choice because it can help reduce nasal swelling very well indeed so perhaps give this a go first. Or what about a bit of garlic and horseradish? These are both very pungent and sure to clear your airways very quickly indeed!

As well as eating lots of the above, you might want to try cutting out dairy products to see if your symptoms change, as this can actually make nasal congestion worse. Luckily, these days there are all sorts of alternatives thanks to the growing interest in vegan products so fill the fridge with soy, almond and cashew milk to see if this helps or not.

Food aside, if you’re really suffering why not try using some Vicks Vaporub in the shower? Create your own at-home spa by taking the lid off the tub and putting it on a shelf so that the steam from the shower creates healing billows of steam that should get those airways clear as quickly as possible.

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