Health Watch

With the springtime finally upon us, the weather is changing and allergy season is in full swing. There are approximately 40 million people in the United States with some kind of “indoor/outdoor” allergy, which include pollen, mold and dust. It is important to know what medications help control which allergies.

For mild allergies, nasal sprays, inhalants and oral OTC antihistamines can help manage your symptoms. Sometimes, however, it may not be enough. For more major symptoms, or if your problems persist, you should contact your doctor to discover the best treatment for your allergies.

Spring is also a perfect time to begin to watch your eating habits. Including the freshly grown spring produce in your meals is a great way to start making a healthier you.

Eating a low-calorie salad as a first course in a meal is a great way to lower your calorie intake for the whole meal. Salads aren’t the only low calorie meal that you can eat; a hot cooked cereal, such as oatmeal, contains 1/5th the calorie density of dried cereal and is more filling, so you can go further in the day without getting hungry.

Eating a high-fiber breakfast can help your health by preventing certain ailments, such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Sunday, March 9th marked the beginning of daylight savings time. The change to the clock also affects our internal clock, messing with our sleep patterns. To combat this, it is best to set a concise sleeping schedule that will help your body adapt to the time change. Relaxing and avoiding any caffeine before bed is also helpful.

Another way to help adjust to the hour change is to remember that light is the principle cue to waking up, so it is important to expose yourself to as much light as possible during your waking hours. Sleep with your curtain drawn, so the light comes into your room as the sun rises and wakes you up early.