The weather has dropped, the sun is doing shorter shifts and our kitchens have quickly jumped from being filled with salads to soups. But what should we really be doing to support our bodies through this transition? We’ve been talking to nutritionist and skin expert Katie White about the best ways to re-set and stay healthy as we move into the colder months…
The nights draw in, there is a crisp chill in the air and the leaves start to turn a beautiful auburn – the long summer starts to become a distant memory and we settle into autumn.
I love it.
What isn’t so great, however, is that EVERYONE gets sick at this time of year – quite often we spend summer burning the candle at both ends and we don’t prepare our body for what’s to come. So to help you all out, here are my top tips to survive the long winter without having to leave the house with a box of Kleenex every day!
Our gut health is paramount to our overall health – I am 100% guilty of ignoring this over summer. I have definitely been overindulging in sweet treats, wine and have been eating on the go to try and fit everything in.
This is a really great time of year to start to get back into a routine as sitting in London Fields with a bottle of rose is becoming less appealing.
Check in with yourself
Our digestive system is easily disrupted by alcohol, sugar, use of pharmaceuticals such as aspirin and antacids. Are you experiencing any digestive discomfort which includes but is not limited to, bloating, fullness, loose stools, constipation, reflux, heartburn?
Have you fallen into any bad habits? Sweet treats after every meal? Too many coffees? A couple of glasses of wine every night?
This is the perfect time to remove these new additions to a routine and replace them with an alternative that will nourish your body and keep you strong and healthy through winter.
Start to replace the foods that aren’t offering your body sustenance with nutrient-rich alternatives
Swap a couple of the coffees for herbal teas and give your adrenal glands a break
Save the wine for the weekends and chose lower sugar sweet treats – raw chocolate or baked fruit with coco-yo and honey are some nice alternatives.
If you are currently experiencing any digestive discomfort and you aren’t really sure why, I would recommend initially reducing processed, fried and high sugar foods and then keeping a food journal to see if you notice any patterns. For ongoing issues, I would recommend getting professional help.
Restore beneficial bacteria to improve gut function – this can be via pre and probiotic foods, a probiotic supplement
Pre and probiotic foods include garlic, onions, bananas, asparagus, leeks, chicory root, saukraut, kimchi, miso, kombucha, kefir and yoghurt.
Start to include gut-healing nutrients into your diet:
Fibre: at least 30g per day to encourage healthy bowel movements
Anti-inflammatory foods to calm inflammation in gut and body: ginger, turmeric, berries, green tea, oily fish, avocados, nuts
Zinc, essential for wound healing: beans, nuts, shellfish, grains, seeds
Antioxidant-rich foods: berries, citrus fruits, dark green leafy veg, basically all fruit and veg
This programme is commonly used gut healing protocols and can be done alone or with the help of a practitioner
Your poor liver may have got a bit of beating this summer and its time to give it a little bit of support.
The liver has many functions including blood detoxification and purification so plays a key role in immunity.
Key nutrients to support liver function:
Keep up water intake in around two litres per day
1 – 2 portions of cruciferous veg per day: spinach, kale, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, radishes, rocket, watercress, cabbage
Nettle and dandelion herbal teas
Potassium rich foods: avocado, broccoli, sweet potato, banana, salmon, peas, sardine, grapefruit
Milk thistle and dandelion tinctures if you wanted a real boost
When we are stress, the immune systems ability to fight off antigens is impaired and we are more susceptible to infection. In office environments and taking public transport, we are always exposed to bugs so less stress = less chance of illness.
Stress management is often seen as something out of our control or isn’t really taken seriously until it manifests into something else. Give it time and I promise you, it will manifest into something else!
Reduce caffeine intake: try to keep coffee to 1 per day and include herbal teas such as chamomile or passionflower to support adrenals
Take time for yourself: read, yoga, massages etc… whatever helps you feel relaxed
Take a lunch break and go for a little walk, 10 – 20mins – clinically proven to boost mood and improve the ability to handle stress at work
Are you getting good sleep? Do you feel rested?
Find something that works for you and prioritise it – it’s important and worth making time for.
Finally, a few things you can do to make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape!
Zinc-rich foods (also great for skin healing): pumpkin seeds (1 handful per day), chickpeas, cacao powder, cashews, mushrooms, spinach
Vitamin C rich foods: red and green peppers, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, kale, parsley, pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, peas, tomatoes, cauliflower
Additional: raw garlic, onion, ginger, manuka honey (1-2 teaspoons per day either on its own or added to warm water with ginger and lemon)
Ginger shots – juice ginger add black pepper, lemon, cayenne pepper and a splash of water, have as a shot
Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with the mother in warm water first thing in the morning
Keep water intake high to support the lymphatic system, also keep up exercise – amazing for supporting the immune system
Botanica Medica Immune Tonic – you need to give them a call to order but this is amazing, I take it every year and I truly believe it stops me from picking up all the colds and coughs my lovely clients turn up with!
Allicin Max – allicin a chemical compound sourced from raw garlic that is great at treating infection and inflammation
I know this is a lot to take in, but hopefully, it will help you to stay healthy through winter – for further support and advice you can drop me an email or through my social media.
Take care of yourselves,