As the seasons roll around it can be the perfect time to prepare for climate and temperature changes to avoid unnecessary infections, inflammatory condition flare-ups, allergies, fatigue and unnecessary weight gain.
As the US and other countries in the northern hemisphere move into their cooler weather Australia is getting warmer as summer approaches. Seasonal changes can bring health issues to the forefront and it can be a perfect time to get prepared and avoid these flare-ups. Using seasonal climate changes to our benefit to support our health and make improvements where necessary is a valuable tool.
Interestingly, seasonal changes can stimulate some gene and immune changes, particularly in the cooler months. Researchers found that more than ¼ of our genes change seasonally. Scientists also found that systemic inflammation often increases during winter due to the body getting prepared for an increase in infections, this effect can worsen inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, other immune disorders and heart attacks which tend to peak in the colder months as does type 1 diabetes which is an autoimmune disorder. This is becoming more of an issue as chronic inflammatory conditions are on the rise.
Another factor in seasonal changes is the changes that occur in the digestive system, via the gut microbe which has a strong impact on our immune health.
Another interesting finding was, that countries where the seasons are warm all year round, the genes expressions changed in the rainy seasons where water borne diseases are more prevalent.
In the cooler weather its best to strengthening your immune system and reduce systemic inflammation.
How to support yourself pre-winter:
- Include plenty of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids rich fruits and vegetables and juices via citrus, berries, pineapple and peppers.
- Consume and drink orange fruits and vegetables for Vitamin A.
- Include ginger, garlic and turmeric to fight infections and reduce inflammation.
- Consume fermented foods or take a broad spectrum probiotic to support gut and immune health.
- Use medicinal herbs to fight infections such as oregano, thyme and rosemary.
- Consume selenium rich foods such as brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, whole grains, meats and seafood.
- Include zinc rich foods such as sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, quinoa and shellfish particularly oysters.
- Drink warming medicinal herbal teas with lemon and honey.
As the weather warms up it is natural to start feeling the need to move those extra pounds that you may of gain during winter from comfort foods and less activity. You may also feel the need to commit to a cleanse program such as a Reboot in time for summer bikinis and warmer weather. In summer our appetites may reduce and we crave lighter raw fresh foods while in winter we may have preferred heavier dense meals.
To lighten yourself up for the warmer months and get some summer zing:
- Commit to a Reboot plan.
- Include fresh juices and loads of plant based meals many times a day.
- Avoid processed foods, refined sugary snacks and junk.
- Get out and start moving.
- Follow these 8 tips to help speed up your weight loss.
Seasonal changes can cause a rise in allergy related disorders due to pollens (in spring) and ragweed (in fall/autumn), moulds (in high humidity and warmer conditions) and animal dander (increased hair loss in warmer weather).
Tips to reduce those pesky allergies:
- Consume dark green juices and foods regularly for their magnesium and calcium content, include kale, spinach, broccoli, chard (silverbeet) and collards.
- Orange coloured fruits and vegetables such as mango, carrots, sweet potato, oranges, pumpkin, winter squash and peaches will support Vitamin A consumption which will help to protect the mucus membranes and reduce inflammation.
- Consume healthy fats to reduce inflammation such as oily fish, chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds and hemp seeds.
- Consume lemons, pineapple, onions, garlic, turmeric and horseradish.
- Commit to an elimination diet to observe if foods are aggravating your allergies. The Reboot plan is an excellent elimination plan where you can slowly reintroduce foods and observe any possible reactions.
With this valuable information we can see that we can be proactive to change possible health flare-ups and avoid poor health as the seasons change.