Autumn is upon us. What a beautiful time for change!
The stunning colours in the leaves, the darker, broodier skies, the deeper sunsets and the rich flavours of fruits and vegetables available. For us it’s a time to pack away those summer skimpies in exchange for those woollen wonders and to change our diet from summer salads to heartier meals. As foods change with the seasons, our bodies adapt and what we require to keep us healthy, both physically and mentally is available with autumn’s bounties.
The focus for this month’s Blog is our Immune system – 70% of which lies in our gut. The importance of a strong and healthy immune system is vital in fighting off illnesses like nasty bugs and viruses which, at this time of year are far more common. Key things to consider for a healthy immune system:
• Get a decent amount of sleep.
• Don’t smoke.
• Limit alcohol.
• Minimise sugar in your diet.
• Consume a minimum of 8 portions of fruit and veg per day.
• make sure you are getting enough essential vitamins and minerals.
• Reduce your stress and have a stress management programme in place.
• Exercise and increase daily activity.
Foods that reflect the season’s colours are really beneficial to our bodies during the autumn months
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. Fruits like apples, pomegranates, citrus fruits and pears are plenty.
These not only contain important nutrients and antioxidants like vitamins A and C, but they also contain lots of gut-supporting fibre. As I mentioned before, up to 70% of our immune system lies in the gut, so it’s important to keep our digestive system functioning well. Beans and pulses are jammed-packed full of fibre which acts like fertiliser for our healthy gut bacteria, helping them to flourish and grow.
Here are some other foods and their secrets to help you maintain a healthy gut and strong immune system during autumn.
Red Bell Peppers – vitamin C
Soybeans – great source of iron
Sweat potatoes – Beta- carotene which converts to vitamin A
Eggs (yolk)- eggs are one of the few food sources of vitamin D3
Spinach – iron, beta carotene and antioxidant phytonutrients
Pumpkin seeds – rich in zinc
All these sumptuous foods and many more are readily available during autumn. So eat warming, nourishing foods like soups and stews adding spices like ginger, turmeric, cardamon and chilli. Fermented foods such as yoghurt with live cultures, kefir, kombucha, and even sauerkraut can introduce beneficial bacteria to the gut.
An essential vitamin is Vitamin D. As we get most of this from the sun, our intake decreases when the weather is colder and we spend most of our time inside during the autumn/winter months. If you find you are not getting outside much, a Vitamin D supplement can boost your mood and immune system!
IN OTHER NEWS……
The new spa refurbishment is underway and promises to look spectacular. It will open in October with new facilities and product ranges.
In the meantime, I love my temporary treatment room as do those who have attended.
I’m incredibly excited about my trip to Peru at the end of this month. Unfortunately, I will be unable to receive contact from the outside world until 18th October as there’s little or no internet in the jungle. Please book online if you wish to make an appointment. It’s crazy, but Christmas is not far away so get your appointments booked early.
I hope this “Changes for the season” blog helps with all the changes that will come your way. Please listen to your body and give it what it needs. Take some time out for yourself and enjoy the beauty of Autumn.