Wintertime is typically associated with cold short days and long dark nights. At this time of year more than any other it’s important to wrap up warm and protect our immune system. Holistic Nutritionist Elizabeth Montgomery shares with us her top tips on staying healthy this winter season ensuring you make the most of it and reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
Embrace Fermented Foods: Fermented foods are the key to maintaining a healthy gut which is so important for immune system health. Sauerkraut and pickles are two common foods that are probiotic powerhouses—adding in good bacteria—and greatly helping to boost immunity. Other delicious fermented foods include coconut based yogurt and kefir, miso, kimchi and tempeh.
Load Up On Parsnips: Root vegetables like parsnips hold Yang (male) properties and are warming for the body during the winter. .They are a great source of Vitamins C, K and E and their high mineral content help make it possible to survive the long cold winter months. Enjoy them roasted or alternatively grated raw and mixed together with raw beetroot, green leaves (like watercress or kale) and walnuts for a colorful and healthy wintertime salad.
Related: Which Matters More: How Much You Eat Or What You Eat
Tune Into The Season: The magic of the winter season requires practices that conserve our energy. The long cold dark nights require us to go bed a little earlier and arise a bit later, which helps to keep us in tune with nature’s rhythm. It’s a good time for observing one’s dreams and is the ideal time to incorporate practices like meditation, to help quiet the mind, and to go within.
Add Some Spice: Certain spices can be added to your food or drink to help boost those organs that help detoxify and protect. Why not try incorporating some of these into your daily meals. Cinnamon, which has a strong affinity for the kidneys, is warming and helps stabilize blood sugar. Garlic acts as a natural antibiotic and antibacterial agent in the blood stream. Turmeric is a natural antioxidant, antiseptic and aid in liver detoxification. Horseradish can be a strong decongestant and is also good for digestion of fatty foods.
Those Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes offer far more nutrients to the body than the common white potato. They are very good for soothing digestive upsets and are known to target the health of the stomach and spleen in eastern medicine. This deep orange potato is rich in a wide spectrum of nutrients and is best eaten with the skin on to ensure its nutrients are intact. Enjoy them raw together with other green vegetables in a juice. or mashed with a touch of coconut oil and cinnamon added into the mix.
Enrich Your Drinks: Water is crucial for numerous bodily functions and helps the kidneys to flush out toxins. Experiment by including grated ginger and lemon before meals to aid digestion or drinking warming tea. Cloves are also great when added into teas and work a treat to help support the kidneys and boost circulation on cold winter days.
Elizabeth Montgomery is a London based Holistic Nutritional Therapist. She looks at nutrition as the way to help the body heal itself and approaches health in a holistic way.