Tips for a Healthy Fall

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As summer transitions into fall, many celebrate the change. Cooler temperatures, cozy hoodies, sturdy boots, colorful leaves, pumpkin spice and crackling fires herald the arrival of the holiday season.

I love fall. However, in the past, fall didn’t always love me. Along with all the joys of the season came seasonal allergies, fatigue, colds, viruses and flu bugs.

Most of us feel powerless against seasonal changes and the ailments that often accompany them. However, I’ve discovered my health is not captive to the whims of nature. Your health isn’t either.

Check out these tips for a healthy fall…and a more enjoyable season.

Tips for a Healthy Fall title meme

Tips for a Healthy Fall

These ten tips make life a bit easier during fall. They don’t rely on equipment or unusual foods. Nor do they require a lot of time.

Vitamin D Every Day

I can’t stress enough the importance of this vitamin. Ten minutes of sunlight or two 1000 mg capsules a day protects the body against a wide range of diseases and conditions.

Vitamin D promotes healthy bones and teeth, regulates insulin levels, protects against cancer, supports lung, heart, brain and nervous system health, improves mood AND boosts the immune system.

Boost Your Immune System

If there’s one health tip I’ve repeated over and over this year, during the pandemic, it’s this one: build up your immune system. It is the first line of defense against invading viruses, bacteria and allergens. A weak immune system in a body already struggling against ailments can’t handle one more invader.

Strengthen your immune system by drinking lots of water, getting enough vitamin D, washing hands frequently and avoiding touching the face and eyes. Eat highly nutritious foods.

And along with vitamin D, add vitamin C, zinc, L-lysine, olive leaf and echinacea to your diet. Probiotics promote healthy gut bacteria, which is vital to a strong immune system.

Tips for a Healthy Fall boost immunity
Tips for a healthy fall – drink plenty of water.

Moisturize Skin

Cooler temperatures take a toll on the skin, drying it out and causing flakiness, cracking or itchiness.

Drink water and herbal teas, add high water content foods such as cucumber and celery to your diet along with healing herbs like calendula, lavender and rose. Check out a full list of helpful foods and herbs for the skin HERE.

Go to Bed Earlier

During the fall months, Daylight Savings Time ends, meaning we turn our clocks back one hour. It gets dark earlier in the day and the nights seem long. The change can disrupt our sleep schedules creating fatigue and moodiness.

Take advantage of the longer nights. Get to bed earlier. Establish a night time routine that prepares the body for sleep.

Turn off electronics at least an hour before bed. Take a warm shower or bath. Listen to calming music. Sleep in a dark, cool room. Fall asleep counting the blessings from the day.

Tips for a Healthy Fall turn back the clock
Tips for a healthy fall – go to bed earlier.

Prepare for Seasonal Allergies

As one who suffered for many years with fall allergies, I can attest to the power of increasing health to ward them off. One in five people suffer from seasonal allergies. In the fall, ragweed is the primary culprit.

Allergy symptoms occur when the body responds to allergens by producing a chemical called histamine, which works to counteract the allergen. The immune system causes the allergic reactions by producing immunoglobulin antibodies that result in widespread symptoms.

Lessening and ultimately avoiding fall allergies is a two step process: eliminate foods that weaken the immune system and then support the immune system so it can work properly, handling allergens without creating symptoms in the body.

Avoid eggs, gluten, canola oil, GMO soy and corn, dairy products and MSG. These foods create inflammation in the body and weaken the immune system.

Include wild blueberries, lemons, limes, celery, garlic, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli, onions, oranges, cranberries and raw, local honey (from conscientious bee keepers).

And add these supplemental foods: turmeric, vitamin C, nettle and elderberry syrup.

Enjoy Seasonal Foods

Take advantage of the foods of the season. Enjoy more apples, pears, beets, broccoli, cabbage, squash, root veggies, dark leafy greens, cranberries, persimmons and that seasonal favorite, pumpkin.

These plentiful foods perfectly protect the body against diabetes, improve heart health and lower blood pressure levels. Pumpkins offer vitamins C and A and their seeds help lower cholesterol.

Tips for a Healthy Fall pumpkins
Tips for a healthy fall – seasonal foods offer benefits.

Talk to Your Doctor about a Flu Shot

A flu vaccination can keep you healthier by preventing illness due to flu. The shot reduces the risk of flu-related hospitalization for children, working adults and older adults. It’s especially important for those with chronic health conditions.

And while a flu shot will not prevent COVID19, getting one may prevent overwhelming healthcare systems that are already dealing with the virus. Additionally, a flu vaccine saves healthcare resources for the care of people with COVID.

Beat Stress During the Holiday Season

For many people, the holidays bring additional stress. And I think we can agree that 2020 brought enough of that already.

Establish stress reducing practices NOW, before the holiday season starts.

Begin the day with a morning meditation and a short time of journaling or free writing. During the day practice deep breathing exercises, yoga, stretches or gentle aerobics. End the day with thankfulness, writing, meditation or deep breathing, letting go of the stresses of the day and finding things to express gratitude for.

Tips for a Healthy Fall stress
Tips for a healthy fall – begin practicing stress relief now.

Get Outdoors

Cooler temperatures after a hot summer invite outdoor activities. And fall offers many possibilities.

Rake leaves, tidy up the garden or go for long walks in nature. Jog, ride a bicycle or engage in sports. Getting outside for fresh air and exercise boosts mood and creativity. Plus it reduces inflammation, relieves stress and anxiety and strengthens immunity.

Be Kind to Yourself

During this transition into fall, practice self kindness and self love.

Fall may bring colds, viruses and allergies. Shorter days can usher in depression. During the holidays, it’s easy to gain weight and feel increased stress and loneliness.

Be exceedingly kind to yourself during these months. Set aside at least one afternoon or evening a week to practice self care such as reading, a long soak in the tub, walks in nature, cups of hot herbal tea or writing. Watch a movie. Call a friend. Create. Play.

Taking care of the body and improving health is incomplete without caring for all aspects of ourselves, including mental and emotional health. As the saying goes, the body eavesdrops on the mind. A mind churning with negative thoughts, regrets, anxiety or despair greatly impacts the body’s well being.

Talk to yourself, care for yourself, the way you would someone you deeply love.

How Will You Care for Yourself this Fall?

Which tips can you implement, to improve your health and wellness this fall? Start with one or two suggestions, feel the difference they make, then adopt another…and another.

This is the season of thankfulness. And in spite of the many challenges this year offered, we can find much to express gratitude for. May your improving health be something to rejoice over.

Tips for a Healthy Fall self care
Tips for a Healthy Fall – be kind to yourself.

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I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.

 

 

 

The Best Herbal Teas for Cold and Flu Season

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This post is inspired by real-life events. A few days ago, Greg exhibited cold symptoms including sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes. Like me, he doesn’t typically take over the counter meds. He does not need to. I know exactly which herbal tea to prepare for him.

After only one cup of hot tea, he felt better. His eyes stopped itching and I didn’t hear a sneeze the rest of the evening. The next day, after two cups of herbal tea, one in the morning and one in the evening, his cold symptoms completely disappeared.

I love healing naturally, especially when it takes the form of a cup of hot tea.

Check out the best herbal teas for cold and flu season. When dealing with bugs, colds and flus, reach for one of these soothing drinks to speed healing.

The Best Herbal Teas for Cold and Flu Season title meme

The Best Herbal Teas for Cold and Flu Season

We are currently in the midst of cold and flu season. In fact, it is quite severe in my area. This year scary reports of a new strain of flu, the corona virus, is creating alarm.

When the sniffles strike or the flu causes you to curl up under a blanket with a box of tissues nearby, create one of these ultra-healing teas. The hot herbal drinks relieve congestion, soothe a sore throat and ease headaches and tense muscles.

Add a spoonful of raw, organic honey to combat coughs. Squeeze fresh lemon or orange juice into the tea for a boost to the immune system. And sip on these teas all day. Another important benefit from drinking tea is hydration, which helps clear mucus from the nose and lungs and restores health more quickly.

Chamomile

This tea, made from the flowers of the herb chamomile, is well known for helping the body relax into sleep. However, chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties fight against cold and flu bugs while eliminating head and chest congestion. The herb soothes sinus headaches associated with the flu and it really does relax the body. While healing from a cold or the flu, a good night’s rest is helpful and restorative.

Steep two teaspoons of dried chamomile in a cup of very hot water, for 15 minutes.

Chamomile Tea
The best herbal teas for cold and flu season – chamomile

Echinacea

A member of the daisy family, this flowering herb is also known as purple coneflower. It is commonly found growing in fields, fence rows and flower borders. I grow this flower in my backyard garden. Due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, echinacea reduces the risk of catching a cold by more than 50%. During cold and flu season, drink a cup of this herbal tea every day to minimize the chances of catching a virus.

Echinacea helps the body to heal more quickly if it is under attack from a cold or flu bug. It eases sore throats, relieves sinus and chest congestion and soothes an ear ache. And it provides natural pain relief for the achiness that accompanies the cold or flu.

Steep two teaspoons of dried echinacea, or a couple of fresh blooms, in a cup of very hot water for 15 minutes.

Echinacea Tea
The best herbal teas for cold and flu season – echinacea

Ginger

This flavorful herb is a powerhouse of healing benefits. It soothes the body struggling with the cold or flu. Ginger’s anti-inflammatories and its antiviral and antibacterial properties fight against infection. The herb relaxes tight throat muscles and eases muscular pains throughout the body. Additionally, ginger relieves headaches and heals sinus and ear infections. And because ginger aids the entire digestive system, if nausea is present due to flu, this herb helps calm the stomach.

Add one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to a cup of very hot water. Steep for 10 minutes. Add a dollop of raw, organic honey and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a powerfully healing hot drink.

Ginger Tea
The best herbal teas for cold and flu season – ginger

Peppermint

Ahhh, peppermint, my go to herb for almost everything! Peppermint is a member of the mentha family, along with spearmint. The menthol in the herb’s leaves soothes a sore throat while calming a cough. Menthol relieves congestion as well, while its antiviral properties fight cold and flu viruses…and symptoms.

Like ginger, peppermint restores the entire digestive system, a bonus when the flu causes an upset stomach.

Add two teaspoons of dried peppermint to a cup of very hot water. Steep for five to ten minutes. Or use a sprig of fresh peppermint instead of dried.

Peppermint Tea
The best herbal teas for cold and flu season – peppermint

Nettle

When Greg’s cold symptoms appeared, I immediately grabbed this herb. Nettle, also known as nettle leaf, supports a body under stress. When attacked by cold or flu viruses, the body goes into reactionary mode. This potent herb is packed with phytochemicals, anti-inflammatories and alkaloids. They calm the reactionary symptoms in the body, relieving itchy, watery eyes, sniffles and a scratchy throat.

Nettle fights infections of all kinds and it is a natural pain reliever. At the first signs of flu or a cold, brew a pot of nettle tea and combine it with other herbs for the most benefits.

This is my favorite cold remedy:

Add two teaspoons dried nettle leaf, two teaspoons dried peppermint and two teaspoons dried lemon balm to a mesh tea ball. Drop into a teapot and add boiling water. Cover teapot and allow tea to steep for 15 minutes. Add raw, organic honey if desired, and freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice.

Sip on this tea throughout the day. I rarely catch a cold, however if I show symptoms this herbal tea eliminates them within 24 hours.

The Best Herbal Teas for Cold and Flu Season Nettle
The best herbal teas for cold and flu season – nettle

Fight that Cold or Flu and Win

Ginger is available in the produce section of most grocery stores, such as NaturalĀ  Grocers or Walmart.

Pick up dried herbs below, to make your own herbal teas. Fight the battle against the cold and flu and win, while naturally boosting your immune system. A strong immune system is the best defense against the viruses that create those miserable symptoms.



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