5 Ways to Fight Fall Allergies Naturally

5 Ways to Fight Fall Allergies Naturally

Sneezing in October? Here are some easy natural ways to fight allergies the natural way with no pills or medicines!

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Spring is typically considered the season for allergies. However, fall, due to the high amount of vegetation and increase in humidity from rain, brings with it its own set of allergens, such as pollen, ragweed, dust mites, and outdoor mold spores. If you find yourself constantly sneezing, coughing and having a stuffy nose this time of year, try some natural remedies instead of heading to the pharmacy to pick up antihistamines.

Here are 5 of the most useful natural ways to fight allergies:

1. Minimizing exposure

Ever sleep with the window open and wake up with a sore throat? It might sound obvious, but avoiding exposure to triggers is the best way to avoid allergic reactions. Keep your windows closed to stop pollen and mold spores from coming inside.

Wash your clothes, shower and wash your hair if you've spent a lot of time outdoors where you could have picked up pollen. Finally, air purifiers and vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters will remove any allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust that have made it into your house.

*Tip: If you do buy the top-rated HEPA filters, they'll stop most of the allergens but might slow down your A/C flow in the Summer!

2. Anti-inflammatory diet

Allergies are inflammatory reactions to which certain people are more predisposed to than others. Eating a diet rich in foods that are anti-inflammatory can counteract this tendency. Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish, nuts, and flax, have been shown to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks in people with allergies. Other anti-inflammatory foods include green tea, curcumin, dark chocolate, and most fruit and vegetables.

3. Probiotics

Allergies can be a strong sign that your immune system is out of balance. A good way to fix that is to eat fermented foods rich in probiotics such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha.

Probiotics have been shown to have a number of health benefits including the ability to reduce the impact of seasonal allergies. Rich in friendly bacteria, these foods will help diversify your gut flora, which in turn will help balance your immune system and reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

4. Exercise

It might not sound fun to exercise if you have allergies, but moderate to intense exercise for 30 minutes 3-5 times a week has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory effects, reducing the risk of allergies and asthma attacks. Plus, regular exercise provides a host of other physical and mental health benefits including Vitamin D exposure.

If exercising outdoors increases exposure to allergens such as pollen and mold spores, it might be better to work out at home or in a gym until symptoms are reduced. *There's a surprising amount of pollen in areas you might not expect it, like in the city or even at the beach!

5. Local Honey

Immunotherapy is the process of exposing someone to a small amount of allergen, with the purpose of reducing their sensitivity to it and preventing future allergic reactions.

Eating large amounts of local raw honey, which contains diverse types of pollen, has been shown to help desensitize people with hay fever. It is crucial that the honey you eat was produced in the area where you live, and that it is raw. Pasteurized supermarket honey will not work, and forget that cheap stuff that's been boiled or imported from China!

Fighting Allergies Without Pills

If you like to spend a lot of time outdoors in the fall biking, walking, or apple-picking, allergies to pollen and mold spores can ruin your fun. Minimizing exposure to these allergens when indoors can help. Also, simple life changes such as exercising more, eating a diet that is high in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids, and consuming probiotics, can reduce your chances of having allergic reactions.

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10 Absolute Classic Christmas Flicks To Decompress After College Finals, Because You've Earned It

What movies are the best to watch before Christmas.

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Finals week is finally over, which means that if you're in college, you can finally start enjoying the holiday! And for a lot of college students, one of the best ways to enjoy the holiday is to start watching Christmas movies. There are so many great Christmas movies to watch, and if you're in college, they're a great way to destress after a long stressful semester. Here are 10 of the best Christmas movies to watch if you're in college.

1. "Elf"

Elf

travis / Flickr

Almost any college student will agree with me that one of the of the best Christmas movies is "Elf"! It's one of my favorite Christmas movies, and it's the funniest one to watch! I'm sure a lot of us can relate to Will Ferrell's exaggeration of being excited for Christmas, especially since it's the one time that we can have a break from college. It's a great holiday movie to watch if you want to take away the stress of the semester and if you enjoy movies that make you laugh!

2. "National Lampoon Christmas"

National Lampoon Christmas

travis / Flickr

This is another great Christmas movie to watch if you want something that will give you a good laugh! For anyone who doesn't know what this movie is about, it's a comedy about a dysfunctional family that prepares for Christmas.

3. "It's A Wonderful Life"

It's A Wonderful Life

Wikimedia Commons

This is one of my favorite Christmas movies! If you love old classic uplifting Christmas movies, then you'll enjoy "It's a Wonderful Life." The movie is about a man who wishes he was never born and goes through an experience during Christmas where he gets to take a look at how he impacts other people's lives. What I love about the movie is that it has a good message and you can relate to the characters.

4. "How The Grinch Stole Christmas"

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas / Facebook

Whether you decide to watch the live action version featuring Jim Carrey or the newest movie "The Grinch" that's in theaters right now, this one is a Christmas movie must. Whichever type of Grinch movie you prefer, both are funny and great to watch during Christmas.

5. "The Polar Express"

The Polar Express / Facebook

"The Polar Express" is another classic Christmas movie that a lot of college of students probably grew up watching. If you love classic Christmas movies that are uplifting, then this is a great Christmas movie to watch! It's especially great to watch when you need a movie that reminds you of your childhood! It's a fun movie to watch with family or friends too!

6. Home Alone

Home Alone

s_herman on Flickr

"Home Alone" is another great Christmas movie to watch when you need a movie that will make you laugh or remind you of your childhood! It's about a child that gets left at home on Christmas, and a few thieves try to break into his house with him by himself. The movie is a great classic Christmas that's fun to watch with anyone over the holiday!

7. "A Christmas Story"

A Christmas Story / Facebook

This is a great movie to watch if you want an old classic Christmas movie that will give you a good laugh. It's told from the perspective of a child during Christmastime in the 1960s. It's very fun to watch and it gives you a good laugh!

8. "A Christmas Carol"

A Christmas Carol

dennis.pope85 / Flickr

There are tons of different versions of "A Christmas Carol" that you can find anywhere. Even Disney made a version of the movie with Jim Carrey! It's a top classic Christmas that's fun to watch with family or friends during the holiday. It's great to watch when you need an uplifting message after suffering from stress from fall semester.

9. "Jingle All The Way"

Jingle All The Way / Facebook

This is one Christmas movie to watch when you need a good laugh! It's about a father who is struggling to keep his family together after focusing on his job and having issues with his marriage. When his son asks him for a toy that is one of the most popular toys during Christmas and the toy gets sold out, he goes through extreme lengths in order to make his son happy. The movie is relatable because it makes fun of Black Friday and Christmas shopping.

10. "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

The Nightmare Before Christmas / Facebook

If you love Tim Burton or claymations, then you'll enjoy this Christmas movie! This movie is often watched for Halloween or during Christmas since it features both holidays. It's one of the best claymation movies!

Watching Christmas movies is a great way to enjoy the holiday and hang out with your friends or family. You can even make a movie night for watching Christmas movies! Whatever Christmas movie you watch over the holiday, make sure that it's one that you'll enjoy and that will help you get into the spirit of the holiday!

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How Foods Affect Your Moods

There's a strong connection between our gut and brain, and what you eat affects your mood!

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You've already heard that "you are what you eat," but did you ever think about how food affects your moods? It does, and there's even an entire new area of research called "nutritional psychiatry" that studies this "gut-brain" relationship.

So, what have we learned?

Well, we've learned that most of our serotonin (happy hormone) is actually in our gut, not our brain. Maybe that's why what we eat is now considered a "modifiable risk factor" for depression and anxiety.

That means a healthy diet is linked with a lower risk of mental health issues, and and vice-versa.

So, what should we eat to improve our mood and overall mental health?

A Healthy Diet Is Good for Your Gut & Brain

Well, that doesn't sound very sexy. Anyway, let's define what a "healthy" diet consists of. Basically, a healthy diet should include nutritious and fiber-dense foods for both gut and mental health.

Components of a healthy diet include: Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, fish, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, and olive oil (not vegetable oil!)

A number of negative reviews online for commercial diets like Nutrisystem seem to have inspired them to focus more on gut health, resulting in increased fiber content in food and optional probiotics with their plans.

Fast Food Is Bad for Mental Health

Foods associated with poor mental health include: processed, sugary, salty, fried, high-fat foods, and sugary drinks. Wow, that pretty much describes the everything on the menu at Mickey-D's! And you thought that the worst thing fast food does is make you obese? No, fast food encourages anxiety and depression, too.

Ever drive through a bad neighborhood and notice how many fast food restaurants there are? The poor diet of people in these areas is directly responsible for both obesity and mental illness, making it even harder to climb out of poverty.

To Improve Your Mood, Skip the "Happy" Meals!

Oh, how I love irony!

Yes, even though ads for burgers, fries, and cola promise happiness, it's just the opposite. Fast food is bad for your mental health, (and clowns are scary!) so skip fast food altogether for better mental and physical health!

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