How to have a wonderful & healthy winter

Eat right:

How to have a wonderful & healthy winterRacking up a kilo or two over the colder months is easy – it’s natural to favour hearty, comforting eats instead of lighter salads. But that doesn’t mean you need to crank up the calories. But that doesn’t mean you need to crank up the calories too.

Try starting a meal with a steaming, satisfying tomato or vegetable-based soup. The soup helps to physically stretch your stomach so you’ll feel extra satisfied. Hearty legumes are a great addition- they’re low in fat, high in filling fibre and protein packed, so they’re satisfying, too.

Keep hydrated with water and teas – green tea is an especially good choice.

Avoid a cold:

According to the UK’s NHS, you are 80 percent more likely to get a cold in winter. So make sure your immune system is fighting fit!

The old adage that chicken soup is medicine might not be so far off the mark. Studies suggest that after eating a veggie-packed chicken soup, your white blood cells (neutrophils) gather together. These special blood cells are part of your immune system which help to boost your ability to fight infection.

Add some pungent garlic – it’s been used for centuries for its health benefits including protection agains colds. The active ingredient in garlic, allicin may help ward off colds. To enjoy the benefits of garlic, add freshly crushed cloves to your stir-fries, stews or pasta sauces.

Enjoy plenty of fruits and veggies. They are bursting with protective pigments and vitamins to help strengthen your immune system and fight the snuffles.

An apple a day:

Although tropical fruits may not be in season, don’t let apples be pushed aside by flashier super fruit friends like blueberries, strawberries and paw-paw. Apples have a lot to offer. For example, they’re packed with soluble fibre, particularly pectin, which acts like a sponge helping to prevent cholesterol reabsorption. They also contain vitamin C which has been proven to reduce the length and severity of the common cold. And because they are pretty low in calories, apples are a great choice when you need an easy, grab-and-g-snack.

Counter the chill factor:

Don’t use the cold winter months as an excuse to hibernate in front of the TV. Rug up and get the whole family out and about for a winter activity – whether it’s winter cricket or a bush walk or head off to your local ice-skating rink. Keeping active helps to boost your mood and control your weight.Don’t worry that staying outside can help you catch a cold – it’s actually one of the best things you can do to prevent one – getting out there can even boost your immune system! After all, colds and flu are caused via viruses which spread more easily when people are in close proximity to one another.

Stick with a sleep schedule:

Getting enough sleep is vital not only for your emotional health, but for your physical wellbeing, too. Try to aim for the same sort of bedtime and wake-time routine every day. Although it might be tempting to sleep in, some people find that sleeping for longer actually triggers sleepiness during the day.

To help get a good night’s sleep, try to avoid stimulants like caffeine, cigarette smoke and alcohol; the first two can prevent you from getting to sleep whilst too much alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycle robbing you of restful sleep so you might wake up feeling like you haven’t slept at all.

Protect your skin:

The dry outside air of winter and the hot air of indoor heating can pull moisture from your skin. So, winter skin care can be a challenge.

Stay warm and soft-skinned by covering up as much as possible. The more exposed you are, the quicker the moisture will drain from your skin even if it’s a dull or cloudy winter day, the UV light in the southern hemisphere can still be strong. So protect your skin with sunscreen and use sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection when you need too.

Remember, as the action of sunlight on the skin provides around 90 percent of  our vitamin D intake, it’s important to get the vital sunshine vitamin from supplements if you are low. Ask your doctor for a simple blood test to see whether you could benefit from more vitamin D – studies continue to reveal its incredible and wide ranging health effects. And talking about skin, keep your skin silky and moisturised by applying moisturiser twice daily.

Supplementally speaking…….

The right supplements can complement your best health intentions.

Nutritional defences:

Artichokes also contain inulin, a prebiotic which nourish protective bacteria in the large intestine helping the bacteria to do their     job – part of which is to boost the immune system. HepaPlus contains milk thistle as well as a patented form of the potent anti-  inflammatory, turmeric which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.

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