6 Ways to Combat Fall Health Ailments

11/01/2012

The air is crisp and the leaves vibrant with color. The fall is a glorious time of year but it also comes with a host of seasonal ailments. By adjusting your lifestyle to flow with the needs of this particular season you can feel in tip top condition even as everyone else around you feels the pangs of dry skin, sometimes depressing weather, and head colds.

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Make the most of your fall season with these tips

Get your body ready for fall by making a few seasonal adjustments:

1. Load up on Omegas

Omega fatty acids replenish the lipids loss by dry winter air and specifically, wind. According to WH Foods: “The symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, dry and/or itchy skin, brittle hair and nails, constipation, frequent colds, depression, poor concentration, lack of physical endurance, and/or joint pain.” It's sort of like oiling the body up from the inside out.

2. Consider Abhyanga Massage

Abhyanga massage is an Ayuvedic treatment for grounding that's also helpful for dry skin. Choose an oil appropriate for your constitution or dosha like sesame oil or coconut oil. Massage oil into the skin before you bathe, using long strokes on your limbs and circular motions on your joints. Include your face, hair, and even your ears. 

3. Eat With the Seasons

Our bodies crave heartier vegetables in the fall like sweet potatoes, rutabagas, beets, and turnips. Enjoy the foods that the season boasts, especially those sourced close to home. The more local your foods, the more nutritionally dense. 

4. Step Outside

The fall may be a little colder but it’s often still sunny outside. Cover up in a sweater and head outside. Stay outside for as long as the weather permits in order to avoid Season Affective Disorder. Symptoms usually build up slowly in the late autumn and winter months so stay outside as long as possible.

5. Light Therapy 

If you are afflicted with SAD, try light therapy. Light therapy uses a special lamp with a very bright light (10,000 lux) that mimics light from the sun. It's especially helpful in places that endure the pangs of winter for a longer period of time. Start light therapy before feeling the symptoms of SAD. Talk to your health care provider about light therapy. 

6. Load Up on B-Complex Vitamins

Fall and winter can bring anxiety and depression and one of the best ways to stave it off is with ample B vitamins which help with nervous system function. Deficiencies in vitamin B can lead to anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and fatigue. B-vitamins include B2, B6, B5, B12, etc. If you're considering a supplement, talk to your health care provider. You can take all eleven in a B-complex supplement.

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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