“Around this time people often ask me if it’s possible to build up their immunity to avoid getting ill when the colder weather comes.
Of course, you’d be right to be more aware of your health coming into Autumn.
The colder weather does indeed lead to a wider spread of bacteria and viruses, due to us staying inside more. While there are seasonal bugs and viruses which are more prevalent at this time like flu.
Yet the truth is there isn’t a simple switch you can flick to boost your body’s immune system.
That’s because the way your body protects itself against bugs and bacteria each year is a complicated system involving building up tolerances, creating antibodies, responding to vaccinations, and of course making sure the body’s internal systems are already working as efficiently as they should.
This last point is one where it’s possible to give yourself a head start. With the answer being more simple that you might think…
You see the human body is rather like a machine. It’s been designed to work perfectly from birth and is only when humans decide to put a spanner in the works that things can start to go wrong.
Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, a poor diet, a lack of exercise. Even poor posture or too much screen time will all eventually start to erode the good work your body wants to do. Limiting your performance and ultimately your overall healthiness.
But it’s never too early to begin looking after yourself more.
There are many simple changes you can make to start eating healthier which your body would thank you for.
Here’s a few easy to follow tips.
When you run out of snacks, don’t buy more automatically. Look for better alternatives in your next shop. Swap chocolate bars for healthier nut and seed bars. Swap crisps for fruit, swap refined sugar for alternatives like honey, swap fizzy drinks for juices, smoothies or tonics. Often it’s the convenience of unhealthy options which makes us turn to them most.
Next, lots of people feel that trying to be healthier must also mean depriving themselves and this is the wrong way to look at it.
You see, you’re much more likely to get through a period of healthier eating if you look forward to your meals, enjoy treats in moderation, and do a little bit of preparation to help you plan.
For example, make sure your vegetable drawer and fruit bowl are always full. This can often force you into using them up – avoiding getting a last-minute takeaway.
Foods that are in season are also likely to be tastier and fresher. While eating fresh food helps preserve nutrient content due to less travel time and processing.
Autumn’s nutrient dense vegetables include runner beans, courgettes and kale – which you can use in a variety of different dishes.
Don’t forget at this time of year you can also get some free healthy foods if you do some blackberry picking when you’re out for a walk, which are full of vitamin C and antioxidants.
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat, but why not set it as a reward for doing something healthy to balance it out? Walk to the shops rather than drive, and that slice of cake will feel much more deserved.
Finally, a lot of our body’s immune system is contained in our stomach and gut area so it’s important to keep it this function healthy.
Many foods will help improve your gut flora and bacteria. All vegetables, especially beetroot, carrots, broccoli, or probiotic yoghurt drinks will help this.
In summary, if you’re thinking ahead to a healthy Autumn and Winter then start making some changes now which will benefit you later.