Fall is upon us and it seems like everyone is sick! That’s no surprise, as it happens every year at the same time – typically around the seasonal transitions. As the seasons change, different allergens are released into the air. In fall, ragweed and moldy leaves are the leading allergy sources. Viruses such as influenza become stronger and more active in the cooler, drier weather. Not to mention, when temperatures drop, people tend to spend more time indoors and the trapped air easily lends itself to the passage of germs from one person to another.
- Seasonal transitions are a common time for people to get sick, especially in fall – viruses such as influenza become stronger and more active in cooler, drier weather, and we’re stuck indoors where germs are easily spread.
- When rested, nourished and properly transitioning with the seasons, your immune system is stronger. When tired, stressed and malnourished, you’re more susceptible to infection.
- Shift into fall unscathed by eating seasonally, drinking Nourished 100% Pastured Chicken Bone Broth™, adding Nourished Health-Boosting Spice Blends™ to your diet, sleeping soundly, letting go and staying warm.
But why is it that after exposure to the same germs, be it a sneeze or coughing individual, some people get sick while others remain unphased? The answer is simple – it’s a reflection of the internal environment. When you take care of your body, it returns the favor with health and vitality. Those that are well-rested, nourished and properly transitioning with the seasons have stronger soldiers at the front line that are armed and ready to fight. Those who are tired, stressed and running on empty have sluggish, inefficient immune systems and are more susceptible to infection.
Whether you already have the sniffles or are looking to prevent the cold or flu, here are the top five tips to boost your immune system in the fall:
- Eat Seasonally – according to Chinese medicine, each season has different elements, active organs and energetic properties. During fall, the large intestine and lungs are most active, hence the increase in allergies, colds and coughing around this time of year. As the temperature drops, foods that are more warming and grounding such as soups, stews and root vegetables are more supportive. Pungent, bitter-tasting ingredients such as vinegar, fermented vegetables, mustard and ginger are extremely beneficial for the lungs. Limiting dairy in the fall also helps keep the body balanced, as milk products promote phlegm and respiratory congestion.
- Drink Pastured Bone Broth – when sick, most people crave comfort and meals that are easy on the system. Insert bone broth! With quickly-assimilated nutrients such as collagen, gelatin, minerals and the amino acids arginine, glutamine and cysteine, bone broth is truly “liquid gold.” It not only helps boost the immune system, but also fights inflammation, hydrates on a deep cellular level and accelerates tissue repair. But buyer beware: bone broth’s healing properties are a direct reflection of the quality of ingredients used. Nourished 100% Pastured Chicken Bone Broth™ is sourced from chickens raised on the pasture that are eating their natural diet of grasses, grubs and worms, and only fed organic non-GMO grains. Each cup contains 60% of your daily recommended intake of iodine, a metabolism and thyroid-boosting nutrient that is lacking in the Standard American Diet. Even better, our Garlic & Ginger Infused Bone Broth is a powerhouse for the immune system when you really need the bug guns!
- Spice It Up – cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper are just a few of the many spices that are helpful in autumn. They boost digestion, improve blood circulation, fight infection and help warm the body from the inside out. Nourished Health Boosting Seasoning Blends™ that are especially helpful include Immune Boost, Anti-Inflammatory and Healthy Digestion.
- Commit to a Sleep Regime – during sleep, your body goes into repair mode, detoxifying and patching up damage from the day. Hormones are re-balanced, toxins eliminated, free radicals neutralized and memories solidified. Without 7-9 hours of sleep EVERY single night, stress levels, blood sugar and inflammation sky rocket and the immune system simply will not function at full capacity. Set yourself up for success by using light therapy (i.e. rise and set with the sun). Light exposure in the morning energizes, and darkness at night sends messages to the brain that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep. Another tip: avoid screens within the hour of bedtime. Blue light from cell phones, computers and the television sends mixed messages to the brain that interfere with your body’s natural release of sleep-promoting melatonin.
- Let It Go – according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, organs work in pairs. The lung-large intestine relationship is a perfect example. One of the primary responsibilities of the large intestine is to purge waste (aka let things go). The lungs, on the other hand, purify, cleanse and refresh – symbolic of starting anew. In fall, free up your energy for the new by letting go of the past. Get rid of stuff, be it clutter in your home or clothes you never wear. Ditch draining relationships, foods that aren’t serving you, workouts you dread, etc. When you let go of the baggage, you make room for other, much better things.
Shift into fall unscathed by eating seasonally, drinking bone broth, adding healing spices into your diet, sleeping soundly, letting go and staying warm. These habits help keep your digestive fire strong, immune system alert and body warm. Self-care is a non-negotiable and when you’re giving your body exactly what it needs at exactly the right time of year, you create an internal environment that is inhospitable to illness, disease and infection. Happy fall and cheers to everything pumpkin, apple and cinnamon!