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5 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

More than just our skin gets dry in the winter. Our sinuses dry out causing the mucus membranes to become a breeding ground for bacteria. Unfortunately, so many people suffer from respiratory problems often sending them to the doctor for a prescription. As well as our joints drying out which leads to stiffness in our body, we can also have problems in the intestinal tract where 80% of the body’s immune system lives. If it becomes overly dry, you may have issues with constipation, gas, and bloating ending up with increased levels of toxins in the body. It sounds like a commercial, doesn’t it? Well, guess what? You don’t need to take a pill, but you do need to think about the foods you’re eating. We need to eat more warming foods that are high in protein and good and healthy fats to help get you through the cold, dry winter months. Here are 5 foods that Dr. John Douillard, a physician who mixes Ancient wisdom and modern medicine, recommends: 1. Root vegetables like beets (one of my favorites), carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes (one of my other favorites) are powerhouses that everyone should eat. These foods grow underground during the summer months, so they are highly nutritious and full of vitamins A and C. They are also loaded with fiber, tons of minerals, and antioxidants. 2. Fat in the winter months is crucial, but he’s not talking about greasy fries and potato chips. High fat foods like avocados (yum!!), extra virgin olive oil, grass fed butter, and coconut oil are great sources. They help insulate the body and keep the mucus membranes, intestines, and sinuses lubricated. 3. More protein in the winter is good for our bones, skin, our immune system, and so much more. He recommends eating a little more meat than you usually eat in order to get the proteins and fat deep in the body’s tissues. Other foods that have plenty of protein and fat are nuts and seeds which are high in omega-3 fatty acids and minerals. It should be noted that seeds are easier to digest than nuts. However, soaking the nuts, if raw, helps you digest them just fine. Eggs and yogurt (organic and plain) are also sources of protein.

4. Fermented foods have been around for thousands of years. It was how people preserved food to get through the long winter. You only need to eat a small portion like one to two tablespoons. Fermented foods are good for a healthy gut and provide you with plenty of beneficial bacteria that supports your immune system. Good choices are fermented yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and cheese (not processed). Remember: a little goes a long way. If you’ve not have any fermented foods, start with a teaspoon first, and work your way up to a couple spoons with a meal. 5. Fiber that is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, grains, peas, and some fruits and vegetables plays an important role in digestion and disease prevention. These foods when mixed with water, lubricate the gut and intestinal wall. These hearty foods insulate the body and protect us from the environment. So go ahead, have a hot bowl of hot oatmeal with cinnamon and a touch of honey. And while you’re at it, make a big pot of soup or stew and add some of lentils or barley. It’ll warm you up inside and out.

Just because it’s wintertime, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to get sick. Try incorporating some of these foods into your diet. Also, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, get some exercise, and be sure to get a good night's sleep. You’ll be well on your way to staying healthy and making the best of a long winter. Do you know someone who seems to be sick during the winter more than they’re healthy? Share this post with them. It may be just what the doctor ordered.

To your health,

Coach Maggie

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