Happy Equinox! Autumn vibes are in the air - and there are spiders everywhere! Trees are laden with fruit and once again, I missed the hazelnuts because the squirrels demolished them before I could get to them.
Now is a great time to think about nurturing your immune system ready for Winter.
Yes - COVID is on the rise again (which is to be expected) - but don't forget that the change in seasons, especially during Winter is when we are more vulnerable to coughs, colds and influenza.
So, what can you do now to start building up your immunity?
1) Get good sleep
Easier said than done sometimes, but did you know that poor sleep quality can significantly lower your immune defense? Aim for at least 7-8 hours each night - you might feel like you need more as the days get shorter. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning to really anchor your circadian rhythm.
2) Eat colourful foods
Try to increase the variety of colours you eat - I'm not talking about eating Skittles! There are so many vegetables out there and we tend to eat the same ones. Phytonutrients (good stuff in plants) come in a wide spectrum of colours, so aim to have diversity on each plate.
3) Stock up on Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a great supplement to have in your medicine cabinet all year round - whether it's in capsule, tablet or powder form. I recommend 2-5g of Vitamin C a day as a preventative, and up to 10g a day (yes, ten grams) when you're ill. You know when you've had too much vitamin C because you will have loose stool. When this happens, just reduce by 1g until it's back to normal. Our body doesn't store vitamin C, so we do need daily intake in our food and in supplements - it's essential for our immunity.
4) Stay hydrated
Properly hydrated cells are essential for the process of removing toxins and cellular repair and reproduction. Water, which basically has two hydrogen molecules for every oxygen molecule along with their electrons, feeds the electrical charge necessary for fuel production. There are many ways to stay hydrated - incorporate mucilaginous foods such as chia seeds, flax seeds and slippery elm into your diet. Add salt to your food. Drink coconut water or cranberry water to support cellular hydration. Add bone broth to your soups and stews as it's full of electrolytes as well as other nutrients that contribute to cellular hydration.
These simple things will help you fight off seasonal viral and bacterial infections.
I'll be posting more over the coming weeks to help you stay well this Winter.