Leaves changing colour, a light crispness in the air, and fun outdoor activities like apple or pumpkin picking help to paint the perfect picture of 'Fall'. This does not include tissues thrown all over the floor and a cough that masks the crunching of leaves when you walk. Truth be told, the changing of seasons is a hard time for your body and many of us will end up with a cold. Here are some simple tips that can be done to help minimize your chances of contracting a cold this Fall.
1.Layer your clothes! Mornings are chilly and afternoons are hot. Instead of dressing only for the hot, layer light garments and scarves so that you aren't left in the cold when the sun hides behind those clouds.
2.Avoid cold foods. This relates to Traditional Chinese Medicine principles of cold foods being harder for your body to warm up and digest. Basically, this means to load up on the soups and avoid the salads and sushi.
3.Have warming foods. Similar to #2, there are lots of key foods that help to warm you up. Spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cayenne are excellent to add to teas, soups, or rubs on meat to give your meals an extra punch!
4.Limit the sweets. There's thanksgiving desserts, halloween candy, and holiday party cookies taking up more and more of your weekends during this time. Yes, I realize they are delicious, but sugar really decreases your immune system and leaves us open to infections. So when you reach for the sweets, try to limit this to 1-2 servings so that while you still get the satisfaction you do not get the repercussions.
5.Get enough sleep. While we sleep, our system regenerates and keeps itself in check. Definitely important in maintaining a healthy immune system, as well as helping to stave off any infectious agents you might have been exposed to from colleagues.
6.Vitamins for an extra boost. If you know you are prone to getting sick and are having trouble with some of the other items on this list, then taking a couple vitamins may be right for you. Ones that act as antioxidants and help your immune system function include vitamins C and D. Buffered vitamin C is the preferred form of this vitamin, as it is easier on the stomach to digest (less of a burning sensation than regular vitamin C) which is accomplished by adding minerals (usually magnesium and potassium) to it. Vitamin D, although it is often thought of as improving calcium absorption, also strengthens the immune system. When looking into supplements you want to make sure you are getting Cholecalciferol (active version of vitamin D) and that it is in a liquid form mixed with some type of oil (such as sesame oil). The oil helps it to be absorbed as this is a fat soluble vitamin.