I absolutely love fall!
It's probably my favorite season as the weather is still nice especially in San Diego where I live, but the evenings and mornings are beginning to cool down. As the weather changes so does my wardrobe and dietary choices.
We begin to be drawn to the hearty root vegetables, winter greens, and squash varieties laid out at the farmers market that make for great warming fall soups, stews, and baked dishes.
With this change of season brings a new feeling of excitement over the outdoor activities, celebrations, and family holidays and traditions to come and the fall activities we all love such as trips to the pumpkin patch, carving out jack o lanterns, making apple pie, and decorating for the holidays.
What fall also seems to bring with it is a higher frequency of colds and flus and all the yucky symptoms they create. This is an unfortunate happening during this wonderful season but there are many things that you can easily do to keep your family healthier this season and into winter.
Here are my favorite top 10 ways to help keep your family healthy through the season!
By adding and following as many of these tips to your families daily routine you can help avoid many of the passing illnesses and if you do happen to suffer from any of them these will help you lessen their duration.
Sugar has been proven to lessen you immune system by up to 50% for hours after consuming it. It's typical during the fall season for kids and adults alike to be eating pies and cakes, halloween candy, and other treats that we all love so much. Unfortunately, these only make your chances of suffering from colds and flus more likely. Additionally, sugar depletes your body of vital minerals needed to protect you and maintain proper balance.
Bone broth is one of my favorite ways to stay healthy and it is even easier to include in your family's diet during this season. Homemade bone broth is easy too make, inexpensive, and full of those vital minerals and immune supporting properties needed to help your family stay healthy. In addition to being a nutritional powerhouse, bone broth also has amazing healing properties to repair bone, tissues, and especially the lining of the gut. Click here to read full blog post on bone broth with complete recipe on how to prepare.
Elderberry syrup can be purchased at the store in the supplement section of your local health food store or better yet go for the more economical version and make a big batch on your own. I always have a bottle of this on hand in my home and I also make and sell for my clients who don't wish to make on their own. Elderberry syrup can be made with just elderberries of for additional immune support you can add things like rose hips, cinnamon, clove, orange peel, ginger, and echinacea.
Elderberries are a great source for helping protect against or relieve symptoms from coughes, colds, bacterial and viral infections, and tonsillitis. Elderberry juice has been used throughout history for its antioxidant ability to treat flu epidemics and other serious contagious diseases. Click here to read full blog post on how to make homemade elderberry syrup and where you can buy ingredients.
Get plenty of rest!
When you don't get enough sleep your chances if getting sick increase.I know this sounds like a simple and possibly ineffective recipe for health but there have been many studies done that show the effects of sleep and your immune system.
First and foremost, your body's stress response becomes heightened with lack of sleep. The higher your stress levels are the lower your immune system is. The body also produces certain hormones while sleeping that are necessary for proper immune function. Melatonin is one of these hormones that is produced in the brain during sleep and is a very potent antioxidant. If you are having trouble sleeping click here to read our full blog post on tips for restful sleep.
Skip the booze!
Alcohol has been shown to lower your immune system just as sugar does. Too much alcohol can deprive the body of immune boosting nutrients such as vitamin A. Alcohol increases damage to the immune system making your white cells less able to carry out their job of defending the body against disease and killing germs.
Get outside when the sun is shining!
When the sun is shining that means it's an opportunity for you to absorb some vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to be one of the most important immune boosting nutrients and the best way to get this is the=rough natural sunlight.
Getting 15 minutes of unblocked natural sunlight a day has been shown to provide sufficient vitamin D for maintaining immune balance. Make sure that you let your skin absorb this 15 minutes of sun without any sunscreen to block it.
If you live in an area where you do not have the option of natural sunlight then it is necessary to supplement with Vitamin D. Ask your health care provider for the proper dose and make sure that you are getting a good absorbable quality supplement. Never skimp on price when you are considering supplements. I have found that the cheaper the supplement the worse the quality.
Poor hydration can weaken the boy's immune system. Proper hydration is needed for proper functioning of ALL systems in your body. Drinking proper amounts of water enables your body to flush out toxins and oxygenate your cells. Your immune system functions best when all organs and glands are functioning best.
Water allows your body to flush toxins through the kidneys. If you do not have enough water to do this then these toxins can build up and effectively weaken your immune system.
Water also helps your lymph system function effectively. Your lymph system is responsible for carrying nutrients to your blood stream and ultimately to your cells. It also carries white blood cells and other immune cells throughout the body and helps remove toxins from the blood.
It is very easy during the cooler months to become dehydrated! When it's hot out you are more likely to feel the need to cool off with extra water but when the weather cools that signal is not received. We tend to reach for more warming beverages like coffee and tea. Both of which can cause further dehydration.
If you are like me and often forget to drink water try the trick I use. I have 3 glass 1 liter bottles that I fill with clean filtered water every morning. I bring those to work with me and set them in a convenient place where I will see them throughout the day. Every half hour I try to drink about 10 ounces of water so that I have a continuous amount of hydration throughout the day.
Another trick if you do not the the flavor of plain water is to add some fresh berries or squeeze some grapefruit, lemon, or lime into your water. In fact an added benefit of adding lemon to your water is that it helps balance your PH and helps to flush additional toxins from your body.
Wash your hands frequently!
We pick germs up EVERYWHERE! Washing your hands frequently will help rinse off some of these germs we pick up and prevent them from entering through putting your hands in your mouth or rubbing your eyes. Washing your hands also helps prevent you from passing on these germs to the rest of your family and friends.
When washing your hands I recommend using simple soap like Dr. Bronners without added chemicals that can further weaken your immune system. It is not necessary to wash with antibacterial soap!
Getting proper exercise can significantly increase your immune system. Exercise has the ability to alter your immune cells into a more potent disease fighter. It also helps oxygenate your cells and help flush toxins from your body. Exercise reduces fatigue and increase energy during the day and can also lead to a more restful sleep at night.
Try to get 4-5 days of mild exercise including cardiovascular exercises, weight baring, and stretching. Exercises such as walking, hiking, kayaking, yoga, and pilates are all great choices. Avoid over stressing your body with too much exercise as this can have a negative affect on your immune system by creating too much internal stress in the body and taking too many of your natural reserves leading to depletion.
Eat a clean healthy diet!
Finally and most important is your diet!!!!!!!!! I cannot stress this enough. A bad diet will always lead to a suppressed immune system!!!!!
Focus on eating a diet full of:
- Healthy lean proteins that are free range, grass fed, and organic. The healthier the animal the healthier you will be.
- Healthy fats from cod liver oil, fish, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, ghee, grass fed butter, avocados, olive oil, etc.
- Lots and lots of veggies! This is a great time to make veggie loaded soups, stews, crock pot dishes, and casseroles.
- Healthy in season fruits. Make healthy desserts for the family without unnatural processed sugars or make creative healthy after school snacks using fruit and healthy fats together.
- Hearty nutritious beans and lentils.
- Health promoting herbs and spices.
This is a great start and a fairly simple list of things you can do to keep your family healthy. Of course it is not a guarantee that you or your family members will not experience any colds or flus but it will definitely help reduce the duration and severity.
My office is fully stocked with all the supplements needed to help keep you healthy and fight off those season colds and flus should you need additional help just give us a call and we are happy to get you in to help clear up whatever is ailing you.
Please feel free to share this blog post with your friends and family. The more people we can help keep healthier the easier it will be to keep ourselves healthy at the same time.
As always.......In good health and happiness,
Brandy Augustine PhD