As the seasons change, the environment in which we live can have a profound influence on our bodies. For some of us, the change of seasons and the resulting effects in our body are quite noticeable.
These changes can significantly affect not only our immune system function but how we feel, including our mood and energy levels. By giving the body the nutrients it needs to cope with the current season’s environmental conditions, it’s the best way to ensure we will look and feel our best, and ultimately stay as healthy as possible.
The four seasons can affect the body as a result of changes in temperature, levels of sun exposure, and at certain times of the year there may be increased exposure to environmental allergens and/or viruses and bacteria. With the seasonal changes, one’s diet may vary which can also initiate changes in the body. Supplementing the diet with extra sources of specific nutrients, if there is a deficiency during any given season, or if the body could benefit from receiving an increased amount of any particular nutrient, may be a good idea.
Make sure that all your bases are covered in terms of getting the nutrients you need in all four seasons. Nutrients work together, and combined with making healthy choices in diet and lifestyle, you will have the best chance at staying healthy and feeling great all year long!
Boosting Your Immunity in the Fall
Having a healthy immune system is important to fight off the inevitable cold and flu bugs that generally start to circulate in the fall season. No single nutrient can protect you from illness, but nutrients do work together to help your body stay strong and healthy. Among the vitamins that may support the immune system are vitamins C, E, D, A, B6 and folate. Immune-supporting minerals include zinc, selenium, iron and copper. Zinc and selenium are also known to function as potent antioxidants in the body.
Not Getting Enough Sun in the Winter?
Vitamin D has taken the spotlight in the past years as we learn more and more about its benefits. In climates that do not get as much or as intense amounts of sunlight in the winter, it is important to supplement the diet if there is a deficiency. Studies show that many if not most people are deficient in vitamin D, if they are living in climates that have long winters and cold temperatures; however, it is important to get these levels tested to determine your stored level of vitamin D. During the summer, vitamin D is much easier to obtain, just take a walk outside! This vitamin is important for strengthening your immune system, bones, teeth, and muscles and for maintaining a healthy weight.
Detoxifying the Body in the Spring
After a winter of eating more and perhaps exercising less, a detox for the body may be in order. The body is constantly detoxifying, so supporting detoxification is practical at any time of year; however, some health practitioners say that the body actually detoxes itself more so as the seasons change. There are ways in which we can help the body to detoxify itself and get rid of extra winter pounds if needed. Most of the body’s detoxification takes place in the liver and the lymphatic system, but neutralized toxins must still be released from the body through various organs including the digestive tract, lungs, kidneys and skin. Certain vitamins and minerals can help support the body in the processes and systems that it uses for eliminating these toxins. Adequate levels of vitamins A, C, E, K, B1, B6, beta carotene, biotin and the mineral copper are helpful in supporting the body in detoxification.
Antioxidants for Sun Protection and Sunburn
Vitamin C comes to the rescue in terms of protecting the skin from the damaging UV rays of the sun. It helps to encourage the growth of new collagen and tissue needed to repair the skin from damage. You may protect your skin from photo-aging by taking vitamin C and by using it topically in a formulation especially prepared for skin application. Vitamin E is also helpful for preventing sunburns. This vitamin is effective not only internally but is useful topically as a sun protective vitamin.