Recently, I traveled to Vermont to see the leaves in all their glory. Here in the Northeast, the seasonal shift is dramatic. Autumn presents as the dry, cold, and windy season, but it is also the season of reflection and harvest – a time to pull inward, gather, and store up fuel for the winter.
In the fall, we instinctively crave more protein and fat to combat the cold and dry environment. Nuts and seeds strengthen the nervous and reproductive systems and increase muscle, bone, and blood. Squashes and roots provide complex carbohydrates to satisfy our inherent sweet tooth and provide fullness. Nature begins to contract and move inward and downward, so you find more root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.
The change of seasons can cause a resurgence of infections because the body naturally tries to expel things and regain its balance. The body has a remarkable system to cleanse, detox and restore, and it too works seasonally. To the degree of which you experience ill symptoms depends on how much clean up is needed. If the body is congested, fed poorly, or exposed to toxins on a regular basis, one might be more vulnerable to colds, flus, or infections.
Therefore, we need to focus on supporting the body and immune system in the fall. You can read about how to boost your immunity HERE.
However, despite our best efforts, sometimes we just get sick. If you do catch something, it’s good to have some things on hand. Here once again, we turn to the seasons.
Fall Kitchen Remedies
- Elderberry syrup: Great for the onset of any cold/flu. It has been shown in several double-blind placebo based clinical studies to reduce the severity and duration of several flu types by 4 days. Anti-viral medicines reduce the duration approximately 1.5 days. Elderberry when taken 4-5 times per day and at the start of any symptoms is a powerful remedy with no known side effects. It has been shown to inhibit viral replication of the flu.
- Camu Camu: High in Vitamin C. All foods with Vitamin C will help boost your immunity, but if you are fighting something you want to load up. Mix the Camu powder with water or put in smoothies.
- Ginger, clove, and cinnamon: These common spices can be used in cooking and help to heat the body gently, while warding off viruses and keeping your digestion moving along. Combine them with apple juice for a delicious, spiced cider. Cinnamon also helps to balance your blood sugar so is great to put in smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt or even your coffee instead of sugar.
- Cayenne pepper: Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on your meal, and clear up a stuffy nose, wake up a lazy mind, or speed up your metabolism. Cayenne pepper also acts as a natural pain reliever, so simple aches and pains won’t be able to stand in your way.
- Asian pear: Not only is it a healthy, tasty snack, but when steamed with honey and cinnamon it helps to ease coughing.
- Honey: A spoonful of honey helps the cinnamon and cayenne go down. Honey boasts antiviral andantibacterial properties, so can be useful to fight a cold at the beginning.
- Onion: Traditional and ancient wisdom shows onion to be helpful with respiratory problems when used as a poultice (chop onion and gently cook until soft, then wrap it in a towel and place it on the chest of the congested person). I also cut an onion in half and leave it in the sick person’s room. Supposedly, the onion will absorb the virus. It seems weird and it does smell, but it works.
Boosting your immunity doesn’t require anything fancy. There are common foods and spices you can use and likely already have in the kitchen to keep your system strong and help when you do feel ill. Remember, nature provides us with what we need when we need it. So, as the seasons shift once again, try moving with them this year.
Do you want more ways to stay healthy this fall? Then download my Nutritional Strategies for Immune Health mini-course.
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