- - by Nutritional Therapist, Hypnotherapist and Coach Akcelina Cvijetic

According to traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the Law of Five Elements, autumn is the season associated with our immune system and especially lungs.  Typically, it is the time of year when the temperatures suddenly plummet and our body is trying to adjust to these seasonal changes. This is why we tend to be more prone to colds, sniffles, coughs, and chest infections during this season.

The days are getting shorter and with less light and colder evenings it is understandable why we may want to spend more time in the warmer indoors.  However, for 7 % of the UK population this time of year tends to coincide with the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  65%-80% of sufferers tend to be women.  SAD may manifest as a myriad of symptoms, namely: feelings of low moods, depression, withdrawal, lack of energy and concentration, desire to sleep longer and increased appetite. Most sufferers report their symptoms in autumn and winter. 

There are lots of things that we can do to help raise our mood and immunity at this time of year.  Our diet can act as our ally or foe.  Why not empower ourselves with nutritional allies to help our body produce more serotonin and thus heighten our mood naturally.  Best food choices include foods rich in tryptophan – a pre-cursor of serotonin, such as: turkey, beans, whey protein, cottage cheese, avocado and bananas. Our brain needs essential fatty acids to run efficiently.  So why not feed our beautiful mind with omega-3 rich oily fish, chia and flax seeds. Soups with root vegetables, meat and warming spices (turmeric, chili and cayenne pepper) are ideal for warming us up and boosting immunity.  

Other immune boosters include shiitake mushrooms, garlic, onions, goji berries, kiwi, pomegranate and ginger. Spicy bean and lentil stews are another great way to boost our immunity and energy levels. A breakfast consisting of poached eggs, salmon and asparagus or gluten-free oat porridge with warm almond milk, coconut flakes, mixed seeds and cinnamon is a great way to start our day – warming and satisfying. 

This is the time to preserve our energy and heat so be mindful of this and remember to wrap up and keep your hydration levels up with room temperature water, coconut water and warming ginger tea! Step up your immune boosting supplements to give your immunity a helping hand and stay sniffle-free this season!

Akcelina Cvijetic is an experienced Hypnotherapist/Nutritional Therapist/Life Coach and Counsellor who specialises in "Ultimate Wellbeing" read more about her  here.

Akcelina is available at Anamaya each Thursday and other days by request, click here to book select "Dietetics & Nutrition" or "Life Coach"


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