Tips for Staying Healthy Through the Winter

winter landscape at sunset
Good health in the winter – both physically and mentally – might require a little bit more effort but can still be achieved and maintained. Here are some things to do to stay healthy and happy during winter time.
Go outside every day
Daylight is essential. So many functions in our bodies slow down or suffer with the lack of daylight. Even if the sun doesn’t shine it still matters if we’re exposed to outside light. Make sure to get at the very least a couple of hours outside every day.  The oxygen also plays a huge role for our brains and general well being. While outside, try to find something that will get your aerobics up, to really flush the system with fresh air and energy.
Herbal teas
It’s good practice to drink several cups of herbal tea every day to load up on vitamins and minerals essential for things like immune system, organs and blood functions. Nettle tea is known for it’s high content of iron, among many other things, and gives me the extra energy needed to cope with short days and dreary weather. Mint tea can be very invigorating during days of hard work and ginger tea is nice after a meal to aid digestion.
For a mild, well-tasting cup of tea it’s usually enough to put the dried herbs in a strainer and soak for a few minutes straight in the cup or kettle, but to really make the most of the herbs and extract more of the vitamins and minerals, soaking the herbs over night is not a bad idea. For a potent batch of nettle tea, take one ounce of dried herbs, put in a quart size mason jar and fill the jar with boiling water and let it sit for 4-8 hours. The beverage is good both cold as is or reheated as tea.
Colorful food
A diet heavy in fresh, organic produce and good fats is of course important year round, but in this sometimes so bleak season, it’s nice to fill the kitchen with red, orange, purple, green, yellow, gold, blue and green. Put together, the rainbow palette on our plates lifts both our senses and our spirits. Colorful food is also often linked with a high nutritional value and antioxidants among other benefits.
Fermented food
Sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar and other fermented, live bacteria food is highly valued for their many healthful properties. This is also an excellent way to store produce through the winter, and, there is no end to the range of colors fermented produce can add to a meal.
Garlic
The one maybe most known and acclaimed immune defense booster and an important medicinal addition to anyone’s diet.
Natural skincare
Skin exposed to cold, dry air gets dry and cracked. Keep a jar of natural lotion within reach as well as a lip balm in the pockets of your jackets. DIY skin care products are easy to make and instructions readily available online.
There’s no reason to let winter get the best of you – rather it can be a great season to enjoy the outdoors and strengthen up before the busy season kicks in again. Don’t forget to rest and to smile. Before you know it, spring will be here again!
Article adapted from MotherEarthNews.com.

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