Lacking Energy? Immune-boosting Tips for Autumn and WinterBlog
We’re all guilty of getting a little run down at this time of year – and it’s simply because we have so much to do! With Christmas presents to buy, office parties to prepare for and school nativity costumes to make, stress levels are high.
And everything seems to kick in during autumn, when the dark nights draw in and we’re forced to think about the hectic months ahead.
In Chinese medicine, autumn is associated with the element, metal – and our digestive system (lung-large intestine channels) is no different. The driest season of the year, it’s a time when we generally gather energy inwards to protect our vital organs when it comes to fighting off viral respiratory conditions – and there’s enough of them about! Here’s what you can do to keep your immune system strong during the bitterly cold weather:
Don’t Forget Vitamin D
The body’s first defensive shield in preventing pathogens, the lungs govern the opening and closing of the pores. Supplementing the smooth flow of our defensive mechanisms, these vital organs need to be kept in tip top condition.
Autumn can be a particularly challenging time of year for the immune defences of our lungs and it’s why we recommend a wide range of nutritional supplements.
Make sure you take Vitamin D, as a sudden reduction in exposure to the sun during the winter months can significantly affect the levels of the vitamin found in your body. Adding a magnesium supplement will maximise the absorption of vitamin D3 and will encourage better blood circulation, too – so consider that the next time you’re in the health food shop.
Cod liver oil is also high in Vitamin D – and while it may not taste nice it’ll do you the world of good.
Encouraging better oxygenation levels in the lungs, the Chinese herb, cordyceps, strengthens the immune system by affecting the white blood cells, T-helper cells – NK cells and macrophages, in particular. It works by safeguarding our immunity and fighting off flu and cold viruses – perfect!
How About Astragalus?
Stimulating the immune system’s activity in a host of ways, Astragulus increases the number of stem cells in the marrow and lymph tissue, which stimulates their development into active immune cells.
Don’t Neglect Your Diet
At this time of year – when it can be all too tempting to reach for the comfort food – your diet requires careful and considered planning. It’s vital to eat foods which are high in vitamin D, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, offal, mushrooms and egg yolks.
Eat plenty of seasonal vegetables – steamed vegetables and soups allow for much easier digestion and maximise the absorption of nutrients. Go for pungent vegetables, including watercress, cabbage, turnip, ginger, horseradish, pepper, onions, and garlic, as well.
The right nutritional support for the lungs and digestive system will help stimulate the organs’ function when it comes to warming the body. What this does is encourage good blood circulation and prevent inflammatory digestive issues.
It is equally as important to be aware of foods to avoid, too. Sugary, starchy ingredients, as well as dairy products, all encourage inflammatory dampness. Instead, stock up on low glycaemic fruits, such as lemons, limes, green apples, grapefruit or pears. Why? Thee have a much lower sugar content than strawberries, for instance.
Join the Coconut Craze
Finally, to really keep our immunity strong, include healthy oils like organic coconut oil, cod liver oil, olive or sesame oil in your diet on a regular basis. Herbal teas such burdock, comfrey, ginger, and liquorice provide comfort and protection, too – make sure you add some to your shopping trolley.
So, go on, give some of these tips a go and see if you can feel better in just a few short weeks.