Prepping for Winter Health…. part 1
There are stages that we go through when the body is trying to defend itself from all the exposures that come along with wintertime. It is the normal state of health to be able to moderate the body temperature with ease and to be immunologically strong even when others are ill.
When exposed to extreme changes of temperature, dressing for the weather helps shield the body from damp and cold. Too much dry heat in the home can desensitize the system from self-regulation. Sleeping with warm blankets and the temperature set in the 60 degrees helps the body to regulate better. Flannel sheets and wool blankets as well as quilts keep the chill away while the body breaths in fresh cool air.
Daytime temperatures would ideally be in the low 70 degrees. Keeping oneself from any drafts or chills but still asking the body to up regulate, is healthy for it’s maintenance. Natural fiber clothing that covers the neck, wrists, ankles and feet will help greatly. If one runs cold and cannot maintain warmth, then the thyroid and adrenal glands may need some nutritional assistance. If the body stays too warm and easily overheats, then the gut is usually overburdened and that is causing the body temperature to spike and the person to become sweaty and uncomfortable.
Wintertime health maintenance can prevent colds and flu and keep the system humming along in spite of all the weather changes and any exposure to other people’s illnesses.
First and foremost, consider the foods of winter as needing to supply what the weather, sun exposure and cold do not supply. Vitamins A and C and all the antioxidants will fortify the system. Be sure to use high quality grass fed butter on these foods so that the vitamin A is absorbed. The root and tuber vegetables that are harvested in the Autumn, are rich reds, orange and deep yellow. They are replete with these nutrients and also with fiber to keep the bowel clean and regular. Planning to have these foods available and to eat them every day can keep the family healthy and fortified for the winter. Pumpkin soup as an opener for every meal can do wonders. Roasted carrot, beet, winter squash and sweet potato are rich in the needed nutrients. Radish, rutabaga, and turnip are less robust in color but are on the more bitter and astringent side. This is particularly cleansing to the liver, gall bladder and intestine. When roasted, they turn as sweet as the other root and tuber foods. Garlic (mash and let sit covered for 15 minutes – use raw or at the end of cooking), leeks, and onions are nature’s antibiotics. Thyme, oregano and rosemary are excellent anti-viral, antibiotic, and anti-fungal herbs to use in and on top of food. Vitamins A and D3 are best taken in a fatty matrix, therefore Cod Liver oil (this can be taken in capsules) supplies both and is imperative in Seasonal Dis-affective Disorder as well as immune health.
Papaya, mango tomato, late harvest concord grapes and apples are wonderfully cleansing and rich in the needed vitamins and antioxidants.
Prevention is the best medicine for you and your family. Routines of health care must vary with the seasonal needs. Elderberry is an amazing health booster. It has antioxidant values and is clarifying to the lungs and circulation particularly. It is available in capsule and as syrup that is easily added to a drink for children. Ashwaganda, Ginseng, Echinacea and Rhodiola are adaptive herbs. They literally supply nutrient values that curb both sinking body energy or spiking body irritability.
Ideally, the body maintains homeostasis; steady body energy.
Two much energy means the body becomes erratic, overheated and irritated.
Too little energy means the body gets run down and cannot respond appropriately to exposures. Adaptive herbs help the body maintain equilibrium. Often these and other helpful elements such as zinc, vitamin C and MSM (natural plant sulfur which is imperative to the immune system) can be found in combination products that are designed to assist with strengthening the system for strong immunity through the cold season. Taking them everyday can ensure good physical modulation and resistance to illness that others carry.