Does the thought of shorter darker days get you down?  Fall it is a beautiful time of year with colors, cooler days and a great time to continue to be outdoors to enjoy the weather.  Many individuals dread this time of year as they feel the negative affects of the shorter days and decreasing sunlight. The past 18 months experiencing the pandemic and now approaching a flu season I have been asked by many how can I protect myself and continue to keep my immune system healthy? The second concern has been from those who have had COVID is the post COVID “Brain Fog” and what health approaches can help to decrease those symptoms. 

Whether you have had the flu in the past, COVID or other viral illness there are simple tips below to help to support your immune system throughout the next several months. Included in these healthy simple tips I have added some of the best supplements for immune and brain health. 

1. Continue to eat a whole foods diet.  Schedules typically in the fall get very busy; be sure you take the time to plan meals and have healthy snacks. It is a great time to make soups which can be cooking while we are at work or school.  Soups and bone broth are very healing to the gut, warming and when we heal our gut we absorb more nutrients to stay healthy and well. Pumpkin is a food readily available in the fall and is loaded with Vitamin A which supports immune health. 

2. Eat more Mushrooms or drink a mushroom infused coffee or tea.  Reishi, Lion’s Mane and Turkey Tail are all beneficial to our immune system and brain health. I have both a favorite coffee infused with mushroom that I enjoy drinking and there is a tea for those who enjoy that beverage.  I have shared those links below for you. All organic blends.

3. Keep up your Vitamin D.  If you live in the northern part of the United States you do not get enough Vitamin D in the winter months.  Vitamin D is beneficial for gut health, immune health and lowers anxiety and depression which can be more common during the months of less sunlight.  It is hard to get enough foods that are high in Vitamin D so taking a supplement is typically recommended. Vitamin D is best absorbed when taking Vitamin K2 with it.  

4.  Deep restorative sleep is essential.  Keep a regular sleep schedule going to bed and waking at regular times.  Sleep is the time that we detoxify and heal.  This is important for adrenal health (our stress glands) along with maintaining proper immune function. Get off Electronics 2 hours prior to bed.  Turn off Wi Fi at night and use EMF blockers on cell phones. I have on my cell phone a blocker called Radisafe.  There is also a device called “Safesleeve.”

5.  Get out in Nature.  Try to take time daily to get outside even if it is for 15-20 minutes.  Nature is essential for us as humans. We breath fresh air and while it is still warm you can practice grounding by taking your socks and shoes off and standing in the grass.  

6. Have personal strategies to reduce stress.  This can include exercise, Yoga, Journaling, Meditation or prayer.  Do not skip on your personal routine it is essential for your health and wellness. Do not watch news if it is anxiety provoking. 

7. Practice intermittent Fasting. The step I recommend the most is avoid eating 3 hours prior to bedtime.  This way blood flows to our brain to get out the “Toxins” and not to our stomach to digest.  Fasting allows our liver and gallbladder to rest and promotes the release of toxins. You will sleep deeper and feel more rested in the morning. 

8.  Breath.  This is essential.  You need to take time daily at least 5-10 minutes to practice breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Try just counting in for 5 seconds and out for 5 seconds. This increases our parasympathetic nervous system which lowers blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety and overall helps us to make better decisions. 

9. Best Supplements to help support the immune system

a. Alpha Lipoic Acid one a day; this helps to support liver detoxification 
b. N-Acetyl-Cysteine 300mg once a day helps to support glutathione which is needed for detoxification 
c. CoQ 10 200mg a day  supports Mitochondria or the powerhouse of our cells for energy  
d. L-Carnitine 600mg a day  once a day helps to turn fat into energy 
e. Choline 550mg a day this is needed to support mood, muscle and regulate memory.  May have an increased benefit post COVID infection 
f. Vitamin C 1000 to 2000mg a day support immune health 
g. Oscillococcinum this is a homeopathic one vial once a week from September through April. Lessens viral illness such as colds and flu.
h. Zinc 30mg a day support immune health 

Be sure to first support your immune system through lifestyle as supplements are an added secondary benefit. 

Enjoy the beautiful Fall weather we have been having. 

Ten Simple Sustainable Steps for a Balanced Brain

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