Boost Your Wellbeing This Winter
With winter on the horizon you may be thinking about buying that new coat or holding out on cranking up the heating. However, supporting your health for the change in temperature is a priority too.
So, how can the seasons affect our health and why? And is your health ready for the drop in temperature? According to wellness expert and author Jacqueline Harvey (jacquelineharvey.co.uk), there are peak times of the day when your body is at its most effective – and peak times during the year when it is right to work on the many different aspects of your wellbeing. The seasons and all that they bring have a direct effect on both our physical and mental health.
Here, our six handy tips will help you prepare for the colder months ahead.
Don’t forget about vitamin D
Our vitamin D levels can decrease as there is less sunlight. Vitamin D is crucial for bone and skin health and can help stop diabetes developing as it aids the function of the pancreas, which controls blood sugar.
“As a result of low vitamin D, immune function may be below par and the incidence of illness and infections can be more frequent, with recovery times being longer than normal,” says leading nutritionist Alix Woods.
To make sure you’re getting your daily dose of vitamin D, try sense* for Busy Lives Superfood Powder (35g, £6.99, Boots), which contains an array of vitamins and superfoods. These include baobab, which supports optimal energy release, as well as hemp that helps to decrease hormonal imbalances, to give your mood a boost. You can sprinkle this on your food, or add to your favourite smoothie, or simply mix with water.
Look after your gut
As we age, it’s important to look after our gut health and ensure the flora are nourished and optimised to maintain all systems of the body, including the skeletal (bone and joint) system. The healthy gut flora help regulate bone and joint minerals like calcium, magnesium and vitamins D and K to keep bones healthy and strong.
Eat high fibrous fruits and vegetables regularly as they contain prebiotics that feed the gut. Prebiotic vegetables are onions, leeks, garlic, oat bran, artichoke and seaweed.
The health of the gut is the cornerstone of the body’s vitality and is crucial for maintaining bone and joint strength.
Collagen & vitamin C
Collagen is a notable part of maintaining healthy joints and strong bones. It’s the key structural component in cartilage, which provides protection and shock absorption. Strong tendons and ligaments are essential for keeping joints in place and with age we may want to ensure optimal levels of vitamin C for collagen synthesis. Eat portions of citrus fruit, broccoli, green and red peppers, tomatoes and berry fruits daily.
Show your joints and bones some TLC…
As a nation we certainly know a thing or two about joint pain. Around 10 million Brits suffer from arthritis, which can range from mild to severe and can affect people of many ages. When the temperature drops it can often increase the chances of getting pain in the joints.
To aid your joints this winter, try sense* for Joint and Bone Superfood Supplement (7 servings, £6.99, Boots) which is ideal for the elderly to support their bone and joint health because it has the essential bone building minerals calcium, magnesium and zinc with co factor bone strengthening vitamins D and C. These mineral and vitamin levels often need topping up as with age comes possible decline. With this formulation the micronutrients work synergistically with other natural anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing spices like turmeric, cinnamon and oregano.
This supplement also contains digestive enhancing fibre from psyllium, inulin and hemp. The fibre encourages bowel regularity, helps manage cholesterol and maintains healthy blood sugar levels. It has the added benefit of L glutamine that keep the digestive tract in tact lowering the incidence of allergies, and peppermint oil which is a natural intestinal calmative.
When life gives you lemons…
“Drinking a glass of lemon juice with water every morning is the perfect way to kick-start your digestion, and boost your immunity at the same time. This is because lemons contain bioflavonoids, a group of nutrients, which boost immunity by protecting the cells of your body against environmental pollutants. To make a glass of fresh lemon juice, squeeze the juice of one lemon into a glass, add 300ml (11fl oz) slightly warm water. Stir and drink immediately,” suggests Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, who has a clinic in Kent (marilynglenville.co.uk).
Give your health a hand
The colder months can have a negative impact on our mood and you may find it harder to control your stress levels. “Try hand reflexology. Reflexologists believe that massaging key points in your hand can ease stress and tension,” suggests Marilyn, adding: “Try pinching the area between your thumb and forefinger about 2cm into the palm to combat stress. This point is thought to correlate to the adrenal glands, responsible for releasing stress hormones into the body. Pinch the point firmly for three seconds and repeat three times, or massage the area with circular movements.”