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Prepare Your Body for Fall

by on September 2, 2017

Change of season means beautiful colours, fall harvest, cooler weather and…. cold and flu season. In Chinese Medicine, each season is associated with two organ systems, and fall is a time associated with the Lung and Large Intestine. These organs represent the Yin and Yang and are closely related.

Lung

In Chinese Medicine, the Lung is closely associated with the immune system through what it called wei qi, or protective Qi, which basically protects us from colds and flus.

Large Intestine

In Chinese Medicine, the Large Intestine is responsible for ‘letting go’ of what is no longer necessary, both physically through our stool and emotionally.

In order to prepare for this change of season, it’s important to support the immune system and the digestive system, make sure

Probiotics

Remember that we have 10 times more bacteria in our body than human cells. It’s pretty crucial that these stay balanced. Probiotics offer a concentrated dose of a variety of bacteria found in our body. By taking them through food, they support of digestive system and immune system (since 70 to 80% of it comes from our digestive system), but they support our overall health as well.

Vitamins

Vitamin C

This vitamin is a strong anti-oxidant and also supports the adrenal glands and the production of white blood cells (the ones our body needs to fight off viruses and bacteria). Load up on fruits and veggies to get lots of vitamin C and take a supplement for extra support. Try a minimum of 1,000mg per day.

Note of caution: Avoid chewable vitamin C as it is hard on your tooth enamel and the sugar competes with the vitamin C for absorption.

Vitamin D 

This vitamin is important for brain health, bone health, hormone health, heart health, mood ad the immune system. We don’t get enough sun exposure here to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D, so make sure you’re taking enough from fall to summer (Thanksgiving until the long weekend in May).

Note: For even better prevention, get your vitamin D tested to make sure you have adequate amounts in your body – this way you’ll know if you need to maintain your vitamin D levels or boost them with higher doses. This is something I can do right in my office.

Diet

As the weather gets cooler, it’s important to start shifting our diet to warmer foods as well. If we follow the seasons, the fall harvest brings root vegetables, squash, and kale and spinach, which actually prefer cooler weather. This means, roasted veggies, soups and stews and steamed or sautéed greens. Maybe add a little heartier foods also like lentils and beans.

We can also add those ‘pumpkin pie spices’ like ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg as they have nice warming properties. Especially make sure you are adding some warming spices like ginger or cinnamon to your cold smoothie.  

Including these foods into the diet keeps the digestive system and the immune system in balance and keeps things running smoothly.

Try out this recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Kale Chips

Exercise

The fall is a much slower time than then summer, or much more Yin than our Yang summer. Looking at the Earth, the strong productive growing season which requires lots of energy from the Earth and Sun is transitioning to the harvest season when we collect the products of the Earth and the plants come to the end their life cycle. Like nature, it’s time for us to start slowing down.

If you’re thinking of starting up a new workout program, don’t start with anything intense. Try Yoga, pilates, or start small and build from there in order to support your immune system and not burnout.

Flu “Shot” 

I have personally used this alternative to the flu shot for several years for myself and my family, and continue to use it and recommend it for individuals of all ages (2 years old and up), either on its own or in combination with other immune boosting practices.

A combination of immune boosting herb extracts, the formula works to boost the immune system, protecting us from both colds and flus. It’s a drinkable liquid that is taken once or twice during the fall and winter. It has no known side effects and is safe for children 2 years or older.

Cost: 30$ (covered under extended health plans).

 

Dr Renée Purdy is a naturopathic doctor in Moncton, New Brunswick. In her practice, she values making health achievable and long lasting. She likes to explore the mind, body, spirit connection in health, and her approach includes using food as medicine, herbal medicine, acupuncture and lifestyle counselling. Her focus is on digestive health, hormone balance, thyroid health and adrenal fatigue.

 

 

 

 

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