Tis’ the season for dry skin, sniffling noses, coughing and shortened days..yes, that’s right, Winter is here! You might find yourself wondering how to fight the Winter blues this year and there are answers (and no, it’s not going to get a flu shot!). Even if it’s cold out, get outside and laugh! Laughter has been proven to boost the immune system by relieving stress! Dark days can lead to feeling tired, sluggish and somewhat SAD.
Don’t let the cold get to you. Just bundle up in warm clothes from head to toe and make the most of it. Even if you don’t want to go out willingly, you will likely have to go out of your house to go to work, out for dinner, visit friends or grab groceries. So make the most of it and embrace it for what it is. It only lasts a few months and from here on in, we can look forward to warmer days ahead!
In the mean time here are some other things to take note of during these chilly, dark months.
Take Your Vitamin D
You’ve heard it over and over again, taking Vitamin D during the Winter is important for our health but why? Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that is very difficult to get from plant-based food sources. Carnivore’s are a little better off as there is some Vitamin D in meat, fish, and eggs but meat eater or not, everyone should be supplementing Vitamin D. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D. So it’s vital, if possible to spend a minimum of 20 minutes outside when it’s sunny. During the winter months this becomes more difficult, so making sure you are getting in enough Vitamin D through food or natural supplements is crucial to your health, your mood and your skin!
Getting Vitamin D Through Food:
- Portobello Mushrooms
- Soy Milk / Soy Yogurt
- Whole Grain Cereal like oats
- Natural Orange Juice
- Almond Milk
Non Plant Based Sources:
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Oily Fish
- Goat Cheese
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need Per Day?
Age Men Women
0 to 1 year 400IU 400IU
1 to 70 years 600IU 600IU
70+ years 800IU 800IU
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include:
Depression or feeling mentally down (hence the “winter blues”)
Pain and aches
Weak bones that may lead to Osteoporosis
Manage Your Dry Skin
Canada is known for cold, windy and harsh Winters. Once our skin is exposed to this type of climate with low humidity, our skin gets dry and ours lips get chapped. It can be quite uncomfortable having dry, itchy skin. What we put IN our bodies is just as important as what we put ON our bodies. Luckily for us, there are many holistic approaches to fighting dry skin in the Winter:
Use hand soap free of SLS or other detergents
Use coconut oil and avocado oil as a moisturizer
Keep hydrated by drinking water and lots of herbal teas + elixirs
Eat Omega-rich foods such as: Hemp seeds, chia seeds and avocado
The Best Immune Boosting Foods
Making simple changes to your diet can drastically boost your immune system and prevent those nasty colds and flu. Firstly, eliminate processed junk food that will rob your body of nutrients and increase your chances of catching an illness. Refined sugar is an immune suppressor that destroys your white blood cells ability to fit bacteria in your body. Instead, stock up on these immune boosting foods:
Raw honey – has antioxidant, antibacterial, anti fungal properties
Fresh raw garlic – powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, antibiotic properties
Fresh ginger – anti-inflammatory
Organic berries – high source of antioxidants
Herbs and spices – turmeric, cinnamon, elderberry, mint – anti inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties
Fermented foods – sauerkraut, organic miso, coconut yogurt – boosts the natural bacteria to protect our gut and boosts immunity
Fresh lemons – alkalizes the body which enhances our immune function.
If you want even more tips and ideas to stay healthy throughout the winter, listen to this incredible interview with Medical Doctor, Elson Haas on The Ultimate Health Podcast who talks about everything immunity! Listen now to this informative interview to find out what’s destroying your immunity in today’s world, common immune system trigger foods, why people get sick in the cooler months and much more!