Winter Health Tips
Winter is a time of stillness and deep introspection. With the bare trees and colder weather, we are asked to go within and build up our reserves for a re-emergence come spring. Deep rest, quietude and contemplation help us to prepare for what we will be created when the sparse trees begin to blossom anew.
In Chinese medicine, winter is associated with the water element, the color dark blue and black and the emotions of fear and survival. The corresponding organs, the adrenals, kidneys and reproductive organs thrive when nourished and replenished through sleep, relaxation and wholesome foods. Stress, overactivity, toxins and noise increase cortisol levels, eliciting the stress response and taxing our reserves. Finding a gentle balance between outgoing holiday celebrations and time alone is especially important for health during the holiday season. To attune with the winter season, find ways to hibernate and nurture your deepest yin energies:
The ritual of drinking tea is calming and regenerating, not to mention a great way to warm up on the cold winter days. Licorice tea helps to build up the adrenals, supporting increased energy reservoirs.
Ease Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD)
Winter can big more dreary days, so be sure to stock up on sunlight when you can and supplement adequately with Vitamin D.
Eat soups and stews
Foods simmered slowly are warming during the winter season. Add small pieces of seaweed like kombu and wakame to soak up the minerals and build your inner reserves.
Choose black and blue foods
Since the corresponding color to the water element is black and blue, consume use black beans, black sesame seeds, blueberries and blackberries for kidney, reproductive and adrenal health.
Get more sleep
With the darker days you may be feeling an inclination to go to bed a little earlier and rise a little later. Follow your intuition and stock up on rest to attune with the winter season.
Sea salt foot soaks
Salt is the corresponding flavor and water is the corresponding element to the winter season. For deep relaxation, gently detoxification and grounding at the end of your day unwind with a warm candlelit soak.
As Paul Pitchford says in Healing with Whole Foods: root vegetables “grow in cold climates and contain minerals and other elements that make it possible to survive in harsh weather and under snow. When eating, we take on their qualities and build resistance to cool weather and
Kathryn Flynn is the author of Cooking for Fertility: Foods to Nourish Your Fertile Soul. Kathryn supports men and women worldwide in achieving a healthy pregnancy through nutrition and lifestyle changes in her individual fertility nutrition consultations. For additional information, please feel free to email Kathryn.