Beating those autumn blues
WITH the days getting shorter and colder it is easy to slip into a slump in the autumn.
There’s an almost overwhelming temptation to stay inside, put your feet up and comfort eat.
But this lack of activity may not be good for you and could increase the risk of seasonal depression, particularly after all that lively fun in the summer sun.
Doctors have noticed a number of seasonal problems in patients at the start of autumn.
These include low physical and mental energy as well as dry skin and hair.
They also see bloating, often linked to overeating in summer, and a lack in essential nutrients after excessive sweating.
Fatigue and stress also weaken the immune system making people more susceptible to coughs and colds.
GP Dr Dawn Harper and nutritionist Angelique Panagos have some tips on how to improve your health this autumn.
Dr Dawn says: “I probably don’t do a surgery where I don’t treat someone that’s Tatt – tired all the time.”
She says the right nutrients, such as vitamin C for immunity, helps to ward off and reduce the duration of illnesses.
Here are Dr Dawn’s top tips. Listen to your body – If you feel you’re pushing yourself too far, you probably are. Stress and lack of sleep are key triggers for most autumnal health complaints. Seasonal diet – As the weather gets colder avoid the temptation to adopt an unhealthy diet. Get a restful night’s sleep where possible. Try and eat leafy greens, protein and nutrient rich veg such as butternut squash. Seasonal supplementation – I’d also recommend supplementing your diet in line with the seasons. It can be difficult to get all our essential nutrients from diet alone, vitamin B6, zinc, fennel and Siberian ginseng are some key to helping our health flow through autumn.
She adds: “Many of us update our wardrobe in autumn but how many of us think about our health in the new season?
“In the last year I have started to eat seasonally and take particular supplements to prepare my body.”
Here is Angelique’s advice. Dry, Hair, Skin, Nails – Load up on greens to ensure you get enough zinc and magnesium and enjoy seasonal foods l ike seasonal turkey, beef, potatoes, lamb to get your B vitamins Immunity – Focus on foods rich in vitamins C, A, E and zinc to protect against cold and flu. Kale is high in iron, vitamin C, A, K and fibre. Butternut squash is good for vit C and beta-carotene. Both go well with salads, roasts, stews and stir fries. Onions, garlic and ginger boost immunity. Fatigue – Enjoy more magnesium in dark leafy greens, nuts, avocado, whole grains and dark chocolate as research shows it can counter seasonal depression and fatigue Digestion – Fennel can calm the guts if you feel bloated and gassy as can mint and lemon balm. Rosemary, garlic, leeks, onions and Jerusalem artichoke act as prebiotics and help feed your good bacteria.