31. Oct 2019

Mag. Julia Wild

Staying healthy and fit in autumn

Summer is slowly coming to an end, nature is changing, and the air is getting colder. Along with the autumn temperatures, the needs of our body change gradually, and the immune system often needs some additional help. Colds and coughing are back on the rise at the beginning of autumn. A vitamin and mineral-rich diet is the best way to kickstart your immune system.

Local fruits and veggies give you strength from within

Preferably stick to seasonal fruits and veggies. Apples, pears, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, plums, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, turnips and many others are now available from local farmers. But you don’t have to eat large amounts of fruits and veggies 24/7; small changes to your diet can already make all the difference: Eating fresh tomato slices with herbs on brown bread in the morning, chopped carrots and fresh fruit as a morning snack, a small salad with your lunch, and crunchy stir-fried veggies for dinner offer the perfect vitamin boost.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) associates autumn as a metal element with the functional circuit of the lungs and colon. Flu infections and constipation are typical ailments during this time of year. The organs need plenty of humidity to stay healthy. Invigorating and warming dishes such as soups and stews are perfect ways to achieve this goal. Even a warm breakfast, e.g. cooked oat or wheat porridge with apples or pears, is in line with TCM.

If you still catch an infection and have to take antibiotics, you should immediately start with the intake of high-dose probiotics during your treatment. Antibiotics not only destroy harmful germs, but also the natural bacterial flora in the intestines, which makes you more likely to catch another infection.

Immune power thanks to vitamin-duos

Vitamin C and D are the most important helpers in the fight against diseases. Especially in autumn, you should make sure you take in enough of this “healthy duo” in preparation for the icy winter. During summer, we usually don’t have any lack of vitamin D as our bodies produce vitamin D with the help of sunlight. However, when the leaves fall, the days get shorter, and our much-needed vitamin D supply dwindles. Of course, we can add vitamin D to our diets. Foods such as herring, salmon and mackerel contain plenty of vitamin D, as well as egg yolk, mushrooms and liver. However, to cover our daily needs, we’d have to eat large amounts of the previously mentioned foods. In comparison, the intake of appropriate supplements seems more reasonable. The reason why an adequate intake of vitamin D is so important is that vitamin D is a vital component for the function of our immune system, as well as the maintenance of bones, teeth and muscles. Vitamin C is more common than vitamin D and can be found in almost all types of fresh fruits and veggies, especially in bell peppers and acerola cherries.

Exercising out in the open has a relaxing effect

We need plenty of exercise out in the open so that our immune system can adapt to the new weather and prepare itself against the onslaught of viruses and co. Spend at least 20 minutes a day outdoors, most preferably in the woods and meadows. The fresh air not only invigorates the body, but also the mind. A quick walk in warm jogging pants and a windbreaker, or an extended jog can free up your mind and improve your mood. Your circulation comes to life, the immune system starts producing antibodies, and the activated circulation spreads them throughout the body. When you settle down at home on the couch, make sure to regularly air the room. We recommend opening the windows for five minutes in the morning after you get up, in the evening when you get home, and directly before going to bed.

Dry skin through heating

Warm air indoors and cold air outdoors can quickly dry out our skin. Skin-care products should be adapted to the needs of our biggest organ during autumn. Products that were ideal in summer are now less appropriate. Choose oily cremes and ointments over liquid lotions for your face and body. When it gets cold, the fat content should be higher than the water content. It pays off using nourishing masks without chemical substances to prevent dry, itchy and cracked skin. Oat extracts and the enzyme-rich papaya are especially skin-soothing. But beware: The sun can still be quite strong in autumn; skin products should still contain a sun protection factor – specifically for those who do a lot of outdoor sport. Incidentally, UV-light can also contribute to lip herpes – which is why you shouldn’t neglect this sensitive area and take good care of it.

 

Stay informed!

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