While the temperatures are still up there, there’s no doubt there’s a shift in the air signalling the arrival of autumn. As the seasons change we can often find ourselves blindsided by a dose of the sniffles, which is never fun. We’re going to give you a few handy tips to build up that immunity and give you a fighting chance of avoiding the dreaded lurgy!
1. KISS – Keep it seasonal stupid!
You’ve heard it before, eat what’s in season. Why? Because fruit and veg in season pack a greater nutritional punch. If you buy seasonal produce you can buy local produce. This equals less travel time to your plate and less time for nutrients to deteriorate. Our favourite in-season fruits right now are figs and pears, and veggie-wise we’re using artichokes, eggplant, and butternut squash in wonderful warming autumn dishes. If you need inspiration, try out Nutritional Therapist, Suzanne Garaty’s delicious roasted squash, butterbean and spiced apple soup recipe.
Herbs and spices not only make your food more exciting, but they also boost immune function. As the weather gets cooler, be generous with garlic and ginger in your recipes. Other powerful antiviral herbs that boost immunity, reduce inflammation and fight infections are astragalus, ashwagandha, oregano oil and olive leaf extract. Look for these supplements in your health store.
It also pays to get your Vitamin D levels checked – it’s surprising how many people are low in this extremely important vitamin. A vitamin D supplement can significantly reduce the frequency of colds and flu. Other helpful supplements are a good quality multi-vitamin, CoQ10, quercetin with bromelain, Vitamin C, zinc (balanced with copper), chlorella and kelp.
3. Reduce your caffeine and alcohol consumption
Hopefully, you’re enjoying a brief reprieve between a full summer social calendar, and Christmas parties just around the corner. Grab this chance to give your liver a break from caffeine and alcohol. Add in plenty of water and green juices and smoothies instead to help cleanse this vital organ.
4. Avoid stagnation in the body
Any excuse for a massage and we’ll take it! Support the immune system by stimulating circulation with a lymphatic drainage massage. Add in dry body brushing before taking your showers for an extra bonus. Brush with circular strokes starting at the hands, up the arms, toward the lymph nodes and heart, and starting at the feet, up the legs with circular strokes toward the lymph nodes in the groin and torso. Make sure to always brush towards the heart.
Saunas and steam rooms are another great way to boost immunity as you eliminate toxins through the skin.
5. Friendly bacteria
About 80% of our immune system is housed in our digestive system. Clearly keeping a healthy gut is very important! Gut nourishing foods that help increase beneficial micro-flora include all vegetables especially beetroot, carrots, broccoli; flaxseeds; omega 3s from fish; brown rice; tofu; and fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, miso, yoghurt, kefir, and kimchi. A good quality probiotic supplement can also be a good idea for an all-around immunity boost.
Get moving! Whether it’s a long walk or a high-intensity session any exercise will do wonders for immune function. Try to get in at least 30 minutes a day. Adding exercise to your routine also improves sleep quality which is another important aspect of good health and a strong immune system.
Written by Ché Miller
About the author
Ché has always had a passion for hospitality having completed a conjoint Bachelors Degree in International Business and Hospitality Management. She has spent the last 15 years working in the hospitality industry. When this passion led her to working in a premier health retreat in Australia in her twenties, she found the knowledge she gained there inspired her to start living a healthier life.
Now Ché loves to combine her two favourite things, hospitality and wellbeing, by scouring the island for the best nourishing restaurants, products and services. She has been living in Mallorca since early 2017, having moved from her home in New Zealand. She absolutely loves the energy of the island and everything it has to offer.
Ché’s other interests include ashtanga yoga, boxing, reading, writing, and really good coffee.