I’m sure that it has become apparent that the seasons are changing and it’s suddenly become much cooler, at least here in Sydney with lots of heavy rain and winds coming through.
Here is a quick guide with some tips on nutrition and lifestyle to help get you through the next few months.
Although this time of year it’s not necessarily as hot as the summer months just passed, factors such as wind and use of air conditioners can still have a similar effect.
- Dehydration can lead to:
- Light headedness
- Poor memory and cognition
- Dry eye, mouth, lips and skin
- Poor digestion
Long term effects can be far more dramatic including risk of kidney stones and impaired kidney function, constipation and muscle damage.
Ensuring that you are consuming plenty of vegetables and doing your best to eat seasonally.
Fruits like berries and kiwi fruit which are incredibly high in Vitamin C and bioflavonoids which are going to enhance your immunity are in season through autumn! Not only are they delicious but they are good for you too!
Of course there are going to be some people that argue that seasonable variability has no difference since we no longer live in a bubble and we live in a global market. My answer to this is, sure, we can eat foods that are not in season within our local area but part of this is:
a. Supporting local producers.
b. Eating fresher produce that therefore has higher vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content.
c. From an evolutionary perspective, there is a higher likelihood that the foods that are growing in season produce nutrients that will sustain us better within the season.
If you’re not sure what foods grow when, check out the Seasonal Food Guide Australia for more details on your state.
Eat more Aromatics
Aromatics are the amazing vegetables that we season our food with. Garlic, ginger, pepper, chili, shallots, onion, celery, herbs etc. Anything that will diversify your dish, get it in there! They are going to provide phytonutrients that are going to bolster your immune system through the colder months.
A great example of this can be found in a Garlic Ginger “Invicibili” Tea which I have to give credit to The Crunchy Urbanite from Instructables for. It’s not going to be something that everyone will enjoy, but it’s a great example of getting more aromatics in, that’s for sure.
We all know exercise is important and yes, in the cooler months it’s harder to stay motivated to keep up those amazing habits that you worked up since last spring. Here are a few reasons why you should keep at it:
Exercise will stave off the winter belly. As mammals we are primed to store fat and be prepared for hard harvest times. As mentioned earlier, we don’t live in a bubble but are in a global market and have the wonderful revolution that is refrigeration. That being said it is far, far easier for us to pack on the kilos during winter, particularly when all we want to do is sit down after work and binge what-ever new amazing thing is on Netflix. Keep moving, go lift something heavy a few times, go for a jog, pick up some more things and put them down again and go back home and get your binge on.
- While it’s not overly recommended to exercise when experiencing symptoms of the flu, those such as: coughing, fatigue, chills, nausea, muscle aches etc. it can however be protective to the body leading up to an illness, reducing severity of a cold or flu. Martin, Pence, & Woods (2009) show that moderate exercise down regulates excessive inflammation, allowing improved anti-viral immune response.
Doing these few things will make it just that much easier on you during these next few colder months.