24 Nov Fibre may be the missing key to reducing hay fever symptoms
by Ashleigh Feltham, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist
Do you suffer from hay fever? You may think that popping an Antihistamine is all you can do to reduce the suffering but there may be another way to help reduce your allergies and hay fever with help from your diet.
Western diets which are commonly low in dietary fibre and laden with non-digestible carbohydrates often resist digestion until they reach your large intestine where they are the food for the good bacteria in your gut. When the good bacteria eat the dietary fibre they produce anti-inflammatory messages or postbiotics such as short-chain fatty acids and other metabolites. These postbiotics send messages and reduce the inflammatory state of your body and consequently reduce your risk of developing hay fever.
A type of cell called a mast cell plays a central role in initiating an inflammatory state in your body from an allergen such as freshly cut grass or cat hair. When the mast cell senses your allergy trigger it releases histamine which causes a cascade of effects which you would be aware of as a hay fever sufferer.
Research suggests that dietary fibre may inhibit the release of histamine from the mast cell. The effectiveness of this inhibition increased with more dietary fibre consumed. One short-chain fatty acid called butyrate may stop the mast cell from activating.
Adults need between 25-38g of dietary fibre each day. The best way to include dietary fibre is through plant foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables, and fruit. To provide your gut with the variety of dietary fibre it needs for health aim for at least 30 different plant foods each week.
Another way to add more dietary fibre to your day is by enjoying a delicious South Australian Gourmet Food Company Fruit Custard with Added Fibre. Each custard gives your body 10.9-11g of dietary fibre.
Take home message:
No one enjoys a runny nose or itchy eyes. Take action against the uncomfortable symptoms of hay fever by including enough dietary fibre each day.