Autumn is officially here. The days will become shorter, the nights longer, colder weather approaches, cold and flu season is coming, and the holidays are around the corner. Stay healthy during the transition into fall.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, autumn corresponds to the element of metal (acknowledgment) and represents the organs of the lungs, large intestine and the skin, meaning this is the ideal time to take special care of these organs. This phase (metal) means acknowledging and letting go of emotional baggage and unhealthy attachments. This is a great time to plan a cleanse and to cleanse and nourish the skin. Fall is a great time to detox, actually, so that you don’t head into the holidays feeling bloated and sluggish. Click here to download my book, 3 Weeks to Vitality, which outlines the perfect 21-day cleanse for you.
How to Stay Healthy During the Transition into Autumn
Eat seasonally to assist your body in the transition from summer into fall. This means more root vegetables, more warming foods, more cooked foods. Summer brought us a bounty of stone fruits and berries and raw summer salad greens–cooling foods for warmer weather. Soon at the market you’ll find warming and fiber-rich winter squash (yams, pumpkin, acorn, butternut, kabocha, buttercup, delicata, spaghetti squash, the list goes on) and other mineral-rich root veggies such as parsnips, carrot, turnips, fennel, onions. Also include more Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cooked greens like kale & collards. Apples and pears and figs are around now too –both terrifically high in fiber to cleanse the digestive tract and keep you feeling satisfied.
Changes in seasons and weather can wear down your immunity. Did you know the majority of your immune system is in your gut? Keep healthy by taking probiotic supplements. You’ll enhance colon and gut health AND improve your skin. Probiotics improve colon and gut health by keeping you regular, thereby assisting the body in removing toxins. This keeps your skin clear, keeps your weight in check, and prevents toxins from recirculating in your system. Also eat cultured vegetables and fermented dairy for full benefits. Now is the time to take your fermented cod liver oil. Less sunlight means lower vitamin D levels, and this hormone-like vitamin is critical for immune support.
Longer nights encourage us to rest and slow down. Drink herbal teas with yarrow for lung health and nettles for minerals to aid the adrenals, prevent fatigue, and keep immunity strong. Bone broth is a terrific immune boosting tonic. This recipe for nutrient dense beef stew uses bone broth as a base. Great for Fall. Click here to read my tips on how to boost immune health.
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. In addition to her coaching practice, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and kick nagging digestive issues for good. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.