Autumn and winter can be great for warm drinks galore and cosying up by the fire, but with these seasons come challenges. Darker mornings and evenings, colder weather and a rake of bugs doing the rounds may leave us feeling low and run down. As with a lot of things however, preparation is key. Give yourself the best chance of staying happy and in good health this autumn/winter with these 9 tips to stay healthy as the seasons change.
9 Tips to Stay Healthy as the Seasons Change
There are lots of little things that can help you prepare for winter from eating seasonally to upping your fruit intake. Here's out top tips to stay healthy as the seasons change.
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Water is essential. We need it to do almost all of the functions within our body, yet we sometimes find ourselves drinking less water in the winter months. As the weather cools we turn up the heat and wear more layers. This artificial warm environment can lead to winter dehydration. The danger with this is it’s harder to notice, especially if you’re still feeling cool and not sweating like you might in warmer months. Keeping well hydrated during winter ensures that your protective barriers are fully functional, this way you might fight off infections and viruses more easily.
A good way to avoid winter dehydration is to pop the likes of a Cheeki water bottle on your bed side table (they're insulated so your water will stay cool right through till morning). So you're ready to get sipping from the get go!
2. Eating in Season & Locally
Eating what's in season helps to maintain the balance of Yin and Yang. Your diet should be like your wardrobe and you should change it to suit the seasons. Would you wear a bikini in winter? No, then your diet too should be treated the same way.
If we're eating Yin foods (cold foods) such as raw fruit and veg and cold drinks we are overpowering the Yin making it more dominant. This makes us feel cold from the inside out, which as you might have guessed makes you more prone to getting sick.
Therefore, in the colder months, it should be all about the Yang foods. This may help to strengthen your immune system, boost your energy and nourish you from the inside out, protecting you from the outside environment.
What foods you might ask are seasonal for autumn and winter? Check out some amazing tasty foods that are currently in season and should be part of your diet below!
3. Give me all the Root Vegetables
Vegetables such as carrots, squash, pumpkin and sweet potato are perfect for this time of the year. Root vegetables may have health benefits as they grow underneath the ground, allowing them to absorb many nutrients and minerals available in the soil. These are then passed on to us when we eat them.
Try incorporate root vegetables in your lunch and dinner. We're all about warm foods at this time of year so why not try some root vegetables in a homemade soup - perfect to warm you from the inside on gloomy washed out winter days.
4. Get in Lane with Whole Grain
Whole grains are great Yang foods for this time of year as they make you feel full and satisfied. They are the perfect complement to so many dishes and are easy to work into endless recipes. The best whole grains are brown rice, quinoa, oats and millet.
If you’re looking for something easy to make, overnight oats are a great way to incorporate wholegrain into your diet and they taste amazing when paired with some seasonal fruit and the True Natural Goodness Breakfast Boost.
5. Up your fruit intake
In terms of seasonal fruit for this time of year, it’s no surprise apples are the top of the list considering they always end up at the bottom of every trick or treat bag! Other good fruits to incorporate at this time of year are pomegranates, citrus fruits and pears. Citrus fruits are important - with the change in weather, their high percentage of vitamin C can be especially helpful when trying to boost your immune system to fight off infections.
6. Fish for days
Fish is amazing for us all year round but particularly in winter. We need extra Omega-3 and should be aiming to include fish in two meals per week. The lungs can take a few hits during the autumn and winter months. Air becomes heavier and more pressure is put on the respiratory system. Omega-3 fatty acids may aid the airflow to the lungs, helping the body to maintain its immune defense system.
7. Introduce Key Supplements
Another way to stay healthy as the seasons change is to invest in some good supplements. It would be oh so fantastic if we could get all of our required vitamins and minerals from our foods, but unfortunately that may not be the case in this climate. It can be quite helpful to introduce supplements if we're feeling a little under the weather as they can provide extra ways of getting the nutrients, vitamins and minerals we require to perform at optimal health.
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin is top of the list. During summer, us humans synthesise sunshine into vitamin D. Unfortunately during autumn and winter, this becomes more difficult especially in Ireland.
A Good Vitamin D supplement is the Better You sprays. You can pop them into any bag or keep them at your desk in work - just spray a few drops into your mouth and there’s your own hit of internal sunshine.
Vitamin B is essential for the colder months, and we're all about the B Complex. It contains eight essential B vitamins which keep our bodies ticking like well cared for clocks. These essential nutrients help convert our food into fuel, helping to keep energy levels high throughout the day. Vitamin B complexes are great for stimulating the immune system and enhancing mood.
One of our favourites is by the brand Together; it's a cheap and cheerful complex that is food grown and contains bioflavonoids for extra absorption. Not to mention, Together donate 5% of all profits to Vitamins Angels - one of their core values is that everyone should be able to afford health supplements.
Vitamin C & Zinc
Vitamin C and Zinc can be especially beneficial when taken together and Higher Nature Immune+ has these two wonder nutrients. It’s a great price point and contains extra ingredients for immune support such as blackcurrant, elderberry and bilberry. In most cases it is usually a good idea to introduce an immune support during seasonal changes to help maintain year round health as well as an oxidative boost from the currants and berry’s.
8. Feel the Fear and do it anyway
Get out as much as you can and exercise, whether it’s a walk on your lunch break or a hill climb at the weekend. It doesn’t have to be anything big or bold but getting out and getting active can be a great way to ensure you stay feeling fit and healthy.
Don’t let the weather impact your decision to head outside (although obviously don’t willingly enter a storm) - invest in rain gear, wrap up and push yourself to face the rain. Most of the time you’ll actually feel refreshed afterwards, more awake and energised.
9. Excite your senses from inside your home
Why not try creating your own outside haven inside your home by investing in aroma oils or incense? Ogam Summer blend is great when you're craving that summer feeling on dull days, with fresh uplifting scents.
Another option is to embrace the winter smells and scents by creating them in your own home like cinnamon, frankincense, eucalyptus and orange. Investing in the scents for your home can have an uplifting effect because it's where most of us will spend the majority of our time.
Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.
It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.