Fiber May Be the Missing Key to Reduce Your Hay Fever Symptoms
Do you suffer from fay 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 and this is your diet.
Western diets which are commonly low in dietary fiber which are non-digestible carbohydrates which 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 fiber they produce anti-inflammatory messages or postbiotics such as short chain fatty acids and other metabolite. These postbiotics send messages to your body which reduces the inflammatory state of your body and consequently reduces your risk of developing hay fever.
A type of call 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 fiber may inhibit the release of histamine from the Mast cell. With the effectiveness of this inhibition increased with more dietary fiber consumed. One short chain fatty acid produced called butyrate may stop the Mast cell from activating.
Adults need between 25-38g of dietary fiber each day. The best way to include dietary fiber is through plant foods like whole grain, or whole grain containing foods like Corn Thins slices, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables, and fruit. To provide your gut with the variety of dietary fiber it needs for health aim for at least 30 different plant foods each week.
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 fiber each day.
Folkerts J, Stadhouders R, Redegeld FA, et al. Effect of Dietary Fiber and Metabolites on Mast Cell Activation and Mast Cell-Associated Diseases. Front Immunol. 2018;9:1067. Published 2018 May 29. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.01067