with Dr. Angelina Riopel & Dr. Kathleen Regan
Winter is upon us, and all that comes with it… Beautiful snowy days, winter sports, and cozy evenings by the fire but also, shorter days, dry cold air and cravings for richer comfort foods. The change of seasons is always a time to reflect and attempt to get in sync with nature and support and prepare yourself, mind and body, for the changes that are to come. Start now with these simple tips from our naturopathic experts to support you inside & out this winter.
EAT WITH THE WINTER SEASON
Winter is a time for warm, immune supporting foods. Soup broths, stews and chilies can be healthy comfort foods. These help keep your system warm from the inside out. Adding immune supporting medicinal foods like mushroom powders or greens powders gives your immune system an added kick!
Herbal tonics that support the immune system and the adrenal glands will help prevent colds and flus and shorten the duration if you happen to get sick. They will also help to keep your mood and energy levels up during the dark and cold days. A naturopathic doctor can prepare a custom blend for you.
B vitamins are essential for healthy metabolism, stress management, and energy. They are also burned up during times of stress. B vitamins are found naturally in bee pollen, green leafy vegetables, and B12 is primarily found in animal protein such as eggs and chicken.
The ‘sunshine’ vitamin is tough to get in winter months. Yet vitamin D functions to activate our innate immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to increased viral infections (hello flu season!). Supplementing with at least 1000IU of Vitamin D3 is one of your best defenses this season.
FIGHT COLD WITH WARMTH
Wear your hat and mitts! Buy a big warm winter coat with a hood. Lace up your lined winter boots. If you maintain a steady warm body temperature you are going a long way to support your immune system. Our cells work best at 37.4 degrees Celsius – this includes our immune system. Cold weather suppresses our immune function. A cold walk with exposed ears, nose, mouth can make you more susceptible to bacteria and viruses. When you get back inside warm yourself up internally with a ginger or chai tea.
GO TO BED EARLIER
Research shows that mental alertness and productivity goes up and disease risk is reduced by simply going to bed earlier, ideally an hour or two before midnight. During the winter when the days are shorter, try to keep in sync with natures rhythms by going to bed earlier and waking earlier.