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10 Stay well tips for this winter

Couple being sickStay toasty warm and super-well this winter by following these tips below:

1. Eat for heat

Use warming, circulation-boosting spices in food, like ginger, garlic, cinnamon, horseradish, thyme, turmeric and chilli. They not only add heat to a dish, which warms you up from the inside, but they also boost immunity. Drink herbal teas, especially ginger and cinnamon based combinations. And don’t let your feet get cold: wear shoes, socks or slippers during winter to preserve body temperature.

Avoid alcohol: you may feel warmed up, but it is a dangerous illusion. Peripheral circulation actually diminishes, leaving your fingers and toes at risk. Eat more baked, stewed and slow cooked meals rather than raw food and salads.

The supplements rutin, quercetin and resveratrol are important for maintaining the strength of blood vessel walls and improving circulation. If you constantly feel the cold, take these all year long.

2. Think like a squirrel

Eat nuts and seeds during the colder months. These are good sources of protein, which contain crucial amino acids, and are also high in B vitamins, which are important in the production of amino acids to help all your body functions, including temperature regulation.

3. Tune into the season

Eating in tune with the season is not only better for the environment, as food isn’t travelling vast distances to your plate, it’s also better for your health. Seasonal food is fresher, tastes way better and contains more vitamins and minerals. Eating winter foods like carrots, sweet potato or swedes in soups or stews will keep you warm and align with the season.

4. Go for gold

Add turmeric to meals wherever possible – curries, stir-fries, soups, sauces and dressings. This warming orange coloured spice has been well known for its healing properties for centuries. It is used widely in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, which makes it fantastic for fighting off infection and disease causing free radicals during winter.

5. Add a little insurance

A daily dose of vitamin C and zinc will ensure you ward off nasty colds. These immune boosting nutrients are also found in fresh foods – berries, kiwifruit, chillies, kale, parsley and broccoli for vitamin C, and shellfish, nuts, eggs and oats for zinc.

6. Get hotter

Many herbs and foods contain substances that raise your body temperature naturally. These herbs include cinnamon, chilli, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper. In addition, certain herbs are designated as febrifuges, meaning they induce a mild fever, including peppermint, fennel, sage, thyme, rosemary, liquorice, zizyphus and yarrow.

7. Stretch it out

Don’t forget to stretch regularly. Apart from increasing your flexibility and coordination, it can also improve blood flow to your muscles and soft tissue, which in turn can spark a natural boost in your energy level. For example, five minutes of gentle whole-body aerobic exercise (e.g. walking, star jumps, stationary bike riding or light aerobics) is a great way to warm the body before stretching.

8. Go tropical

Research shows that coconut oil boosts dietary induced thermogenesis – the rate at which the body metabolises food to produce heat. This is because coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride, which is rapidly broken down by the body for energy. Taking one to three tablespoons daily makes you feel warmer, and also lifts your metabolism to stave off unwanted extra winter padding.

9. Have a cuppa

Try this tea recipe. These herbs possess warming energetics to banish the cold from your body. Gently simmer some chopped ginger for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and add a cinnamon quill, and chamomile or lavender flowers. Infuse for 10 minutes and drink when warm. This tea tastes delicious, is calming, promotes digestion, and will warm you right up, from the inside out.

10. Sniff spicy scents

Aromatherapy is a great way to create a cosy, warming atmosphere at home. Essential oils can make home feel warmer. Add 2 drops of cinnamon oil, 2 drops of clove oil and 6 drops of orange oil to a cold air diffuser or aromatherapy burner. Cinnamon and clove also have antiviral and antibacterial properties, and so help prevent germs.

For the body, blend 2 drops of ginger oil and 4 drops of lavender oil into 20ml of melted virgin coconut oil and apply liberally all over when feeling the cold.

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