May 24, 2022 | Community

5 tips to staying healthy this Winter

Author: Leia Mulroy

Winter Wellness - Brunswick Daily

Winter is all about slowing down and moving inwards. We invite you to embrace the yin of the season by eating hearty, slow cooked meals and allowing time for rest and introspection. 

Learn more with these 5 tips that will help you stay healthy:

Stay Hydrated

According to the Five Element theory, Winter carries with it the energy of Water which is why we need to focus on hydration and the movement of fluids in our bodies. To heat up those chilly fingers and toes you can consume warm or room temperature water, as well as herbal teas, infused with warming spices such as ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and mint. These spices will encourage hydration and improve circulation. To aid gut health, strengthen your immune system with minerals, and further support hydration sip on vegetable/miso and/or bone broths between meals.

Eat Seasonally, Eat Warm

Seasonal Winter produce is naturally grounding and building. Your go-to seasonal veggies to build up the body’s natural resilience and energy stores include beets, sweet potato, potato, ginger, turmeric, onions and parsnips.  Complement your energy supplies with wholegrain foods that contain complex carbohydrates and minerals such as barley, rice, quinoa and millet. Use these foods in hearty, slow-cooked meals like stews, soups, casseroles, and broths and reduce the intake of cold and raw foods such as salads, cold drinks, smoothies, and ice cream. 

Slow down

Since Winter is a time to build and nourish the energy stores, we must be mindful to practice the art of slowing down & slow movement. It is a time to go inwards and focus on more introspective activities such as writing, journaling, self-reflection, meditation and breathwork.  Consider movement practices such as qi gong, tai chi, yoga and pilates to gently move your body and stimulate circulation and the dispersal of warmth. 

If you naturally have a ‘cold’ constitution and you experience poor circulation, then balance yin practices with more active movement to encourage blood flow and move the stagnant ‘cold’ energy in your body. Far infrared saunas can also benefit those who like to sweat to move the cold from the body. 

Soak up that Vitamin D

If Melbourne’s weather allows, taking in 15-20 minutes of sunshine can help boost your body’s uptake of Vitamin D. This important nutrient is vital for the optimal functioning of the immune system and can reduce infection rates and flu severity while protecting you from ongoing effects such as post-viral fatigue and secondary infections. 

While food sources of vitamin D are fairly low and won’t give you the optimal protection over the Winter months, food as medicine is key to building the foundation of health. Vitamin D rich foods include mushrooms, wholegrains, fish such as sardines, salmon, & mackerel, as well as all nuts and seeds.  

Include Vitamin C & Mineral Rich Foods

Nature is wise and during winter you’ll find plenty of seasonal and immune-supporting vitamin C & mineral rich foods that make it easy to eat them daily. In addition to being nutrient rich, these foods are also packed with fibre to support digestion and gut health.  If it wasn’t enough, they are also a rich source of antioxidants to support the body’s natural defence system.

Vitamin C & mineral rich foods include:

  • Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and mandarins
  • Kiwifruit
  • Strawberries
  • Red and green capsicum
  • Red and green chillies
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Root vegetables such as beetroot, sweet potato, parsnip, and carrots
  • Legumes, including kidney beans, mung beans and adzuki beans
  • Pungent vegetables such as ginger, onion, garlic, and leeks
  • Warming herbs and spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves
  • Whole grains like brown rice, barley, and millet

Leia Mulroy is a Brunswick local Naturopath who started Kambaba Wellness and its sister business Kambaba Herbals.

Kambaba Wellness connects you with Melbourne’s top holistic wellness professionals. At its core, Kambaba Wellness is a collaborative online wellness space that connects like-minded individuals who are interested in learning, exploring and being curious about the world of natural health.

Kambaba Herbals sells small-batched, organic herbal tea to spread the knowledge of herbal healing and the art of slow medicine.

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