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The Dreaded Hayfever Season


By Lucy Marinelli.

Spring is here again and after such a cold winter it could not be more welcome. However, with spring come the sniffling, runny noses, sneezing and itchy eyes and noses. Yes, spring is hayfever season. Although hayfever is generally considered a mild complaint, to those who suffer from it whether only in spring or all year round, it’s anything but. Some children are particularly susceptible and often experience more severe symptoms as a result, such as hives, rashes and even asthma.

So why is spring such a bad time of the year for hayfever sufferers? Well, after their winter hibernation, plants get their new growth for the coming year. In spring and early summer, it is mostly the pollen that gets up our noses and into our eyes, causing irritation. Children’s sports start up again at this time of the year as well as good old playing out in the backyard, so close contact with grasses is at an all-time high. Ideally, you would make sure your children avoid contact with pollens and grasses, but who wants to keep their kids indoors when they can be outside running around and having fun? And pollens, as tiny airborne particles, are pretty hard to avoid unless you stay indoors with the windows and doors shut tight.

An option, too often used as a first and only remedy, is turning to antihistamines. These, most often prescribed by a doctor, work by inhibiting our bodies own immune response to foreign matter, in this case pollen and grass particles. The problem that results is two-fold. Firstly, constant use of antihistamines over time makes them less effective and then people end up using more or they go for stronger doses. The other, more concerning issue, especially where children are concerned, is the suppression of their immune systems, particularly as they’re in constant contact with viruses in their everyday interactions.

So the best defense is to keep them healthy and especially hydrated. Drinking lots of water is the key and ensuring their diets are full of fresh fruits and vegetables, which have high water content. This ensures the toxins are constantly being diluted and flushed from their systems and also that they are getting an influx of vitamins and minerals to help build healthy immune system function.

A quick and yummy recipe that will give kids the hydration they need and provide ample vitamins and minerals is the citrus smoothie. Simply peel a few oranges and/or a lemonade or two and puree them in a high-powered blender. Add water to achieve the desired consistency and drink (or eat with a spoon if it’s thick enough). I like adding half a lemon, or a handful of fresh mint for a lovely pickup. Celery is also good as it adds elemental sodium, which is great to replenish the body now the warmer weather is prompting us to be more active.

This article was written by Lucy Marinelli and kindly submitted by our friends at Alfalfa House who first published it into their  e-news in 2008. Alfalfa House is a Sydney organic food co-op located in Newtown. To find out more about Alfalfa House and their delicious range of fresh organic produce and other minimally packaged and processed food visit www.alfalfahouse.org




Sep 20, 2010 | Category: Food and Nutrition, Health and Beauty | Comments: none | Tags: , , ,

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