As much as we love the blooming flowers, the warmer temperatures and longer days for more riding miles that summer affords us, a lot of cyclists suffer from hay fever.
It's wonderfully ironic that we look forward to the few precious days of summer to grace us and our two wheels, and when the season is upon us, we suffer from pollen attack.
For many cyclists, hay fever is a summer time enemy. Puffy eyes, runny noses, tickly coughs are just a few of the irritating symptoms we endure on a ride.
We all have our own ways of dealing with hay fever and its varying side effects, and it's not uncommon for a cyclist to have some antihistamine tabs in their stash.
However, there are many natural remedies that can help soothe symptoms, and prevent a flare up.
Sticky lovely honey is brilliant for helping with hayfever. We don't mean the store bought honey flavour syrup, we mean proper local honey.
Bees in your area create honey using the pollen from local flowers. By introducing honey into your daily diet, you can help desensitise your body to the pollen that flares up your hay fever.
It's easy to introduce more honey into your diet. It tastes great in tea, on wholemeal toast and even drizzled over your morning porridge.
Citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C and bio-flavonoids, in particular, Kiwi fruits.
Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine as well as an immunity booster, while the combination with bio-flavonoids works as a decongestant.
Eating fruits and foods that are rich in Vitamin C will help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever. What's great is that Vitamin C is easy to introduce into the diet through drinks and snacks which are ideal for a bike ride.
These red tasty vegetables are packed with an active nutrient called capsaicin. What capsaicin does is open your nasal passages and it acts as a decongestant. It's also responsible for the mild tingling feeling you find in chilli peppers but in much higher dosages.
Peppers are crunchy and tasty when eaten raw, but they taste great on salads and in cooked meals too.
Ginger is a super ingredient for boosting your immune system. It contains gingerol, which is similar to capsaicin.
Introducing ginger into your diet is easy because it's versatile and really tasty. Ginger and honey tea are warming and the anti-inflammatory properties help break down phlegm, reduce congestion and reduce nasal swelling.
Carotenoids are commonly found in vegetables and they are packed with amazing antioxidants.
These are great for reducing inflammation in your airways to help improve breathing. By including a variety of veg into your daily diet, you can help reduce the symptoms suffered from hay fever.
Not only is this a great tasting cuppa which helps send you off into a soothing sleep, but chamomile is a natural antioxidant and anti-histamine too.
While drinking chamomile tea is tasty and helps with the internal symptoms of hay fever, you can also use it as an eye compress to help reduce swelling.
Garlic is another super body food which has a number of benefits. With its immunity-boosting powers, garlic is commonly used by athletes as a viral cold killer.
Garlic is great for your sinuses because it contains quercetin which is a natural anti-histamine. Along with anti-inflammatory powers, garlic can improve your breathing and fight off bacteria build up.
It's most effective crushed in raw form, but if that's too much for your stomach then garlic capsules are available from your local pharmacy.
Like garlic, onions also contain quercetin as a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory.
The great thing about onions is that you can eat them throughout the day with a variety of meals, and they contain more quercetin than kale and broccoli.
There is one more little-known trick that we really rate - and that's taking a small pot of Vaseline out with you on a ride.
Applying a thin layer of Vaseline to the inside of the nose can help fight off hay fever because it traps pollen before it can enter the nasal passage, and cause symptoms to worsen.
Don't let hay fever get in the way of your ride this season. Take some action with these amazing natural remedies.
So get out there an smell the roses... without sneezing!
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