Autumn care

Autumn is my favourite season. Red leaves to kick about, eerie misty mornings, trees laden with apples, walking out in the fine crisp air, warm fires – it’s not difficult to see why.

It’s a great time for warming foods like apple crumble and pumpkin pie. And there’s a lot of goodness in the seasonal foods. Apples keep you full and lower your cholesterol. Beetroot helps reduce blood pressure, and it’s full of folate (crucial for cell growth), as are brussels sprouts and parsnips. Brussels have Omega 3 and lots of vitamin C and parsnips bring potassium and fibre (good for the heart). Cranberries also come packed with vitamin C and are a renowned antioxidant. Chestnuts are low fat, high in vitamin C and folate. And as for the infamous pumpkins, they do have lots of beta-carotine (vitamin A) which is thought to boost the immune system.

Immunity is certainly needed when autumn comes on. My asthma gets worse at this time of year, and my friend says her dad’s psoriasis is always more difficult in autumn too. What’s the reason?

In autumn the air dries out and dust and spores are blown about, I know this affects asthma and it seems the dry air affects psoriasis too. Both the skin and lungs are affected by dryness, so drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated (ginger tea is supposed to be very healing). Other illnesses like arthritis and eczema, not to mention the common cold and swine flu will get worse too.

Whatever ailment you live with the pestilent seasons are always more likely to cause trouble. But all those seasonal foods are going to be a great start in the fight against autumnal change, and make sure you still exercise and sleep well too – a brisk walk in the autumn air is great for both. Gain some contingency by investing in the health benefits of cider vinegar and echinacea; and selinium, vitamin C supplements, multivitamins or other immunity boosters, no doubt, will be useful too.

Some people might dread autumn as a sign that everything is dying, but for others it is a clarion call to the fight for life. Trees draw back in their sap and squirrels horde for the winter months – it’s a final chance to witness nature in all its glory before we too must wait through winter for new things to come. Everything is thrilling but the inner inclination is to withdraw and be close to those you love.

However you come through this autumn, make sure you wrap up warm, keep well and enjoy yourself!

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