Winter health comes from our experience of winter. When you think of winter, what comes to mind?
Your answers will help you plan for a healthy and happy season, as will my 7 Tips for Winter Health!
#1 Foods for Winter Health
Food is medicine, so this is why it is the first of my 7 Tips for Winter Health.
But the way you eat is supported by your other lifestyle choices too!
Mindful eating includes eating with the seasons and Eastern nutrition promotes this too.
Eastern medicine promotes that we eat mostly food that is grown in the region where we live.
This is based on the belief that foods grown in the same environment, have been exposed to the same conditions as us,
Therefore will have the nourishment that we need.
Since foods change from season to season, we eat differently in winter and summer for example.
I am not aware of any scientific research in this area,
But from social and environmental sustainability viewpoints this is a great idea. By buying local you support local businesses. Fewer food miles means it is good for the environment. And another great idea is to grow some of your own food.
Eastern medicine promotes slow-cooked, warm foods for winter health.
Soups, casseroles, and curries are promoted, as the cooking process makes the nutrients more available for us to digest and absorb.
#2 Warm Drinks
Eastern medicine encourages warming drinks as well as foods.
Some of my favourites are:
- Fresh lemon, ginger, and honey in warm water
- A sprig of thyme in warm water, and wait until the water is green
- Lemongrass and ginger tea
- Chai spice with your favourite milk
Herbs and spices are loaded with phytonutrients, like other plant foods.
These natural ingredients in plant foods help to boost your immunity and reduce oxidation and inflammation in the body.
#3 Rest and Reflect in Winter
The shorter daylight hours and cold weather promotes an innate desire to rest, catch up on sleep, and reflect.
Unfortunately, our belief that we need to be busy too often overrides our instincts to live with the seasons.
Eastern medicine defines this season, as a time to go within and to connect with what you need for health and wellbeing.
Setting up your day to include time for meditation and extra sleep will support your health during winter.
#4 Move to Keep Warm
Whilst rest is recommended, we still need to move.
By all means, enjoy your relax on the sofa, but don’t forget to get your blood and energy circulating with some exercise.
There are many online exercise and fitness programs available, so you don’t have to venture outdoors when it is too cold.
Take care to choose a program that is suited to your fitness level and health. Ask for guidance from your healthcare practitioner.
Even when it is frosty outdoors, with a few extra layers of clothing, a brisk walk is invigorating.
#5 The Best Prevention Practice
Your immunity is in your hands!
Means wash your hands whenever you have been in a public place.
The best way to reduce the transmission of a cold or virus is to wash your hands.
Also, adjust your clothing when moving between indoor heating and the chill outdoors.
Remember to layer up when you are heading outside, and to remove your coat and extra jumper when you are back indoors.
#6 Rest if Unwell
The best way to get over a winter cold or virus is to get advice from your healthcare practitioner and then rest.
Your body will heal more quickly with adequate rest.
To prevent others from catching your illness, stay at home. Also if you need to cough, cough into your elbow to prevent the spread of germs.
If advised by your healthcare practitioner, wear a mask when you are with other people.
#7 Winter Remedies
Just because this is the last of my tips, it doesn’t mean that it is less important than the other 7 Tips for Winter Health.
There is so much noise about miracle supplements, potions, and foods to boost our immunity.
There is some scientific evidence for Echinacea and zinc to help speed up the recovery from a cold, but they have to be taken correctly.
If I had my way, I would remove all non-prescribed supplements from the shelves.
Get advice from your healthcare practitioner, to save your time and money.
Trained healthcare practitioners, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and herbalists, will make a formula that suits your individual requirements.
When it comes to foods keep them simple and keep them whole!
Vegetable-based soups and casseroles with herbs and spices will support your gut health and immune system.
7 Tips for Winter Health
These 7 Tips for Winter Health, together with your own insights, will make winter a season that you look forward to.
Taking a mindfulness approach means taking time to connect with how your mind-body feels. This information will guide you in deciding when to rest, eat when you and step outdoors to feel a part of this special season.
If you would like more information on mindful eating and living and the Eating for You approach, then you are most welcome to email me your questions here.