It’s safe to say that winter is here. We’ve swapped our sandals for boots, tanks for coats and bikinis for warm, wonderful scarves. To get ourselves through this change of season, we need to support ourselves inside and out. Here are some tips to keep yourself well this winter.
What we eat can have a huge impact on our general health. During this time of year we should be thinking about what will help to boost immunity and circulation. This will ward off those winter bugs and that sluggish, hibernation feeling that comes oh so naturally as soon as it drops below 15°C.
This delicious wonder has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine since ancient times. It’s hailed as a natural antibiotic, a strong antioxidant, a circulation booster and an anti-inflammatory to name a few. You can add ginger to your cooking, juices or take it as a tea. When you are suffering a cold or flu, ginger tea is both soothing and supporting to your body. It can assist in reducing congestion, relieve a sore throat, reduce cough frequency and the discomfort associated with the common cold. If you’re brave, you can eat ginger raw but for those of us with a softer stomach but still craving those benefits, you can also buy it in capsule form from many health food stores.
Believed to have originated from Neolithic Central Asia, this popular culinary plant has been appropriated into many kitchens, most notably in the Mediterranean. Aside from being a first date no-no, garlic is believed to promote wellbeing of the heart and immune system and is another natural antibiotic.
Tip: if you want to avoid garlic breath, drink some lemon juice or eat a few slices of lemon after your meal.
This old faithful is essential for human health. It is a water-soluble antioxidant that is required for the synthesis of collagen, an important protein required for the structure of skin, organs and bones. You can think of vitamin C as your body’s natural armour. It plays a protective role, not only in protecting your body on a cellular level from free radical damage, but also supporting your immune system. Aside from oranges, some great sources of vitamin C are: papaya, pineapple, kale, broccoli, capsicum and strawberries. Want extra vitamin C? Add L-ascorbic acid powder to water or fresh juice.
Did someone say chai? Talk about a guilt-free excuse to down as many chai lattes as possible! This aromatic spice is fabulous at boosting circulation, reducing inflammation, regulating blood sugar levels and works as an antioxidant. Wow! The word cinnamon has its roots in Hebrew, however true cinnamon originated from Sri Lanka and was traded in ancient times from Egypt, to as far east as China. Luckily, we do not have to travel that far in order to get our hands on this delicious spice. Add it to cakes, shakes or try your hand at that perfect chai.
Guaranteed to stain your white bench top, this golden superstar is part of the ginger family and is hailed as ‘Indian saffron’. Holding similar properties to ginger, it also has a very special component called curcurmin. Studies have shown that curcurmin has been effective in reducing damage to cancer affected cells, your kidneys and your liver. It is also a natural pain killer, some say it rivals ibuprofen. Pain-killing, liver-saving; perhaps this could be a reason to eat a turmeric-rich curry after overindulging the night before.
Apart from getting you HOT in winter, this spicy devil will improve your circulation; providing minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium which help to regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Valuable B-complex vitamins are found in chilli; specifically B-6 (Pyridoxine) is necessary for the production of oxygen-transporting red blood cells and the production of antibodies, which aid your immune system in fighting disease! Still not convinced? The capsaicin present in chilli has been proven to boost your metabolism by inducing thermogenesis which burns energy and fat!
Fluids, babes, fluids
When it is cold outside, we have less of a tendency to keep our fluids up. To maintain a healthy body we must stay hydrated! Keep a bottle of filtered water in your bag or, if you want something a bit extra, try a Wellbeing Water from local lovelies Emma & Tom’s.
If worse comes to worse and you do get ill, treat yourself to a hot bath or foot bath with Epsom salt and a few drops of your favourite essential oil. The Epsom salt will draw out toxins from your body and leave you feeling relaxed and wonderful – after all, that is what feeling well is all about.