Naturally staying healthy over the winter season is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself. The first thing to do to take care of yourself is to nourish your body with the proper foods, vitamins, minerals, and supplementation. Consuming a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, will provide the body essential vitamins, minerals, and hydration so that the immune system remains strong.
Healthy fats that contain essential fatty acids rich in alpha-linolenic acid help the body to absorb the vitamins and minerals that are found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Foods that are rich in alpha-linolenic acid include walnuts, salmon, flaxseed oil, mackerel, and whole grains. Vitamin C is also necessary for the immune system to function properly. Citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges, lemons, limes, and strawberries are high in vitamin C and can be added to many culinary dishes to not only enhance flavor but to increase nutritional value.
Foods rich in glutathione, like asparagus, cauliflower, garlic, almonds, and cabbage are also essential to maintain a strong immune system. Mushrooms are a strong, natural defense mechanisms against illness. Mushrooms such as Shiitake and Maitake are the most effective. Additionally, garlic and onions contain potassium, phosphorous, and allicin all of which promote healthy immune function.
Leafy green vegetables such as kale, collard greens, spinach, and bok choy contain high levels of vitamins C and E are essential to the maintenance of good health. The use of sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup are rich in minerals and should be used instead of processed sugars and high fructose corn syrup. Be sure to avoid all processed foods and eat whole foods including whole grains such as amaranth, quinoa, wild brown rice, and couscous. The more nutritious the food you consume is, the less the body has to fight inflammation and can restore itself to proper health and vitality.
Supplementing Your Diet
Supplements are also vital to staying healthy during the winter months. Supplements can be found in health food stores. Herbs such as ginseng contain ginsenosides which helps to strengthen immunity. Echinacea in both capsule and tea form is incredibly effective in alleviating cold symptoms. Drinking green tea, which contains antioxidants called polyphenols, helps the body to fight infection. Taking a multivitamin daily can also insure that you have the proper amounts of essential vitamins and minerals for the day. Be sure to purchase food-based vitamins, which are easier for the body to absorb than synthetic vitamins.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, taking supplements, and taking essential vitamins and minerals is an excellent way to stay healthy during this winter season. Lifestyle is also something to take into consideration. Be sure not to smoke tobacco of any kind and avoid secondhand smoke. It is also wise to stay away from consuming an excess of alcoholic beverages during the winter season. Alcohol in moderate amounts (1 drink a day for women, 2 drinks a day for men) is generally good for the body, but more than the daily allowance begins the process of inflammation in the body that damages vital tissues and organs.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
Sleep is also of vital importance to staying healthy. The body releases a hormone during deep sleep call HGH, human growth hormone. This hormone helps tissues and cells to repair and regenerate themselves as we sleep. If sleep is disrupted or insomnia occurs, then the HGH hormone is not released in the highest quantity possible and good health can become compromised.
Weight gain, mental fog, and loss of muscle tone can occur with loss of sleep. Going to bed at the same time nightly and waking up at the same time in the morning can insure that the body gets regular sleep and the body can heal itself. Good sleep is a precious commodity. Good clean water is also essential for staying healthy this winter. Be sure to sleep for full sleep cycles, 6-8 hours a night, and to consume at least 8 glasses of pure spring water in order to stay functioning and hydrated.
Relax And Take A Break
More ways to stay healthy during the winter season include increasing mindfulness. Often times stress tends to creep up on us. Too much stress can raise havoc on the immune system of the human body. Activities such as taking long hot bats with Epsom salts can help to dissipate stress. Essential oils such as lavender oil and peppermint oil are also known to relieve stress. Beginning a daily meditation practice is a fantastic way to lift the stresses of everyday life off your shoulders and start the day anew. Meditation tapes and CDs can be downloaded off the internet or checked out at your local library and provide a way to build positivity in your mind.
Visualizing your dreams and goals as well as daily affirmations also lifts the spirits. Another way to stay healthy is to maintain a connection with your social circles, laugh a lot, and spend quality time with friends and family. Strong social connections have been known to strengthen immunity and protect you from viruses, colds, and other types of ailments. Daily exercise such as walking or yoga is also vital to strengthening the immune system.
Natural ways of staying healthy this winter season are not difficult and can be enjoyable. Consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as well as vitamins and minerals to help to protect the immune system. Be sure to drink water, get enough sleep, take hot baths, and laugh often with friends. Participate in things you love to do while taking care of your body will insure you a pleasant winter season in which you can celebrate in the joys of living.