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by Catherine Field, Nutritionist

So we have said goodbye to a beautiful summer and now it is autumn once again. The days are becoming shorter and the nights longer, the temperatures are dropping and the leaves are changing colour and falling from the trees.

This is the perfect time to start supporting your immune system to keep your energy levels high and avoid those first colds and illnesses of the season.

While it is impossible to avoid viruses, there are many ways you can support your natural immunity.

 

 

immune support for autumn by Catherine Field

1. Foods that reflect the season’s colours are most beneficial to our bodies during this time of the year.

Think root vegetables – pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes carrots and swede.

Other immune boosting seasonal foods include; pears, figs, radish, beetroot, onions, garlic, cauliflower and green leafy vegetables. These  not only contain important nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin A and C, they also contain lots of gut supporting fibre.
Up to 80% of our immune system lies in the gut, so it’s important to keep our digestive system functioning well.

 

2. Consider supplementing with Vitamin D.

In the UK we do not get enough quality sunlight to give us sufficient levels of vitamin D during the Autumn/Winter months and it has been found to be very important for immune and bone health.

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3. Eat warming, nourishing foods.

When the cold weather strikes, it’s a good idea to start consuming nourishing warming foods and ditching the cooling salads and drinks for the time being.

Soups and stews are a brilliant way to get in a variety of nutrients and keep warm.

Adding warming spices to foods is also a great way to do this – think ginger, turmeric, cardamom and chilli.

Ginger and lemon with hot water and a little honey makes a lovely soothing drink if you are feeling under the weather.

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4.  Get some zinc rich foods into your diet.

Zinc is essential for immune and also skin health.  Pumpkin seeds, nuts, legumes, shellfish and seafood are good sources.

5. Ensure you are getting enough sleep.

Aim for 7 hours sleep minimum as we need this time to heal and restore.

 

6.  Consider going ‘Sober for October’ or similar.

We are gearing up to the festive season and now is a great opportunity to give your body a well-deserved break from alcohol before the parties begin.

 

For more advice on how to stay healthy during the winter months or for any other health issues, you may like to book a Nutritional Therapy Consultation to discuss further.  Phone 020 8520 268 to make an appointment with Catherine.