Change of Season Strategies to Keep You Healthy
The change of season often causes internal and physical changes. Autumn can be especially challenging as we head back to work and school from the slow-paced sunny days of summer. We’re doing more, moving at a more hectic pace, and under the influence of the varying weather that the fall can bring. Also, more exposure to people means more exposure to germs, which can put our immune system under a lot of stress.
But don’t despair, natural supplements and organic foods can help support your body and keep you healthy during this transitional time.
Begin by eating with the season. With the cooler weather settling in, we will naturally want to move away from raw vegetable salads and cool berry smoothies. Local farms will begin harvesting root vegetables and squash. Soups, stews, veggie bakes and even warm salads are perfect nourishing foods for this time of year. You’ll also see a wide variety of apples and pears appearing in stores – try different types to discover a new favourite! (I personally love the Pink Lady apples).
We’re no strangers to rainbows, but how often do you eat one? Each colour of food provides a different type of essential nutrient for our bodies. We need each colour every day, but in the fall, we especially need lots of red, orange and yellow coloured foods. These provide us with beta-carotene, which our bodies use to make Vitamin A, an important contributor to healthy mucous membranes. These membranes line our digestive and respiratory tracts – which are very susceptible to bacteria and viruses at the change of season! When they are properly nourished, they are better at stopping those baddies in their tracks. Hello squash and carrots, goodbye cold and flu.
Integrate herbs into your daily routine. Making teas with loose herbs is a wonderful way to connect to the medicine of the plants. Make a tea with roots such as astragalus and ginger or try medicinal (not magic!) mushrooms like Chaga or Reishi as a morning coffee substitute or add in. These can also be used as the base for a soup or stew, to add a deep, earthy flavour. Herbs are also available in tinctures – potent extracts made with alcohol if you need immune support on the go. Individually, or as synergistic blends that work together to support your immune system, they can be an integral part of your daily routine and defense against cold & flu season.
The Big Carrot offers a wide selection of certified organic produce, with an emphasis on locally grown items. As well, the Holistic Dispensary can assist you with your herb and vitamin purchases.
If you have a health condition or are taking any medications, always consult with your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements.
Laura Rowe, Assistant Manager, Wellness Department, The Big Carrot