Even though we live in sunny LA, there is still a seasonal change with a cold and flu season approaching. Autumn is here, beckoning us to transition from the busy and flourishing radiance of summer into the slower and more demanding sluggishness of winter. We do this by boosting immunity and fortifying the body’s natural defense system, calming the mind by clearing out lingering negativity as well as conserving energy in anticipation of the holidays.
According to the ancient Chinese Medical text, Nei Jing,
“In the three months of Autumn…all living things…become mature naturally and are ready to be harvested. In autumn, the wind is vigorous and rapid, the environment…is clear and bright, so during this period, one should go to bed early to stay away from the chillness, get up early to appreciate the crisp air of autumn, keep the spirit tranquil and stable…and guard the mind against anxiety and impetuosity. In this way, ones tranquility can still be preserved…and the breath of lung can be kept even as well.”
With traditional medicine, treatment is aimed at supporting the lungs, clearing the nasal passages, supporting the immune system, and strengthening the body to prevent allergic reactions from recurring.
Seasonal eating is one of the best ways to support your overall wellness. Incorporate more of these foods this season to prepare for a healthy winter:
Ginger is a natural antihistamine and decongestant. It also nourishes the spleen and stomach – in Chinese medicine, that’s where the Lung meridian starts, so it indirectly nourishes the lungs and helps respiration too!
Apples are in season! With the skin, they contain the flavonoid quercetin, which can reduce allergic reactions by acting as an antihistamine, as well as decreasing inflammation.
Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin:
Hello beta-carotene! These foods are rich with carotenoids, which are thought to reduce inflammation in the airways. Root vegetables overall are very important for a strong and healthy body, and are in season all autumn and winter long.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids can counter the formation of chemicals that cause inflammation of the air passages. Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and Norwegian salmon.
Autumn is the time to clean out what’s no longer needed in the body (and mind, and home, and…). A healthy and active colon can decrease food sensitivity, which lifts the burden on your immune system. Some seasonal fiber-rich foods are beans, avocado, and pears.