We’re in the thick of the colder winter months, and this time of year staying healthy can be more challenging for some.

A Difficult Season

The chilly temperatures, rain/snow may keep us from getting in our daily walks outside. The shorter days may make it more tempting to sleep in longer. Maybe we’re less motivated to cook homemade meals. Cold/flu/virus season has been relentless. And the recent holidays may have presented many opportunities to overindulge. 

The good news is, there’s some really easy habits that you can incorporate now to get you back on track or keep you healthy. I’m sharing 8 easy ways to feel more energized, balanced and well this winter season. 

8 Ways to Stay Healthy in Winter

  1. Eat foods that are in season.

Not only does in season produce taste better, but it’s more nutrient dense. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in local, in season fruits and veggies are higher than when consumed out of season. These nutrients keep our immune systems stronger and help us stay healthy throughout the winter. Brussels sprouts, avocado, broccoli, winter squash, kale, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, apples, pears, tangerines, kiwi, lemons, etc. are all in season this winter. For a complete list, check here! 

Or better yet, head to your local farmers market!

2. Control excess mucus naturally.

If you do end up sick, try controlling your excess mucus with cooked oatmeal, flax seed tea, cinnamon, and mullein, which all contain mucilage and may help reduce excess mucus. 

Pineapple can also boost immune function and has anti-inflammatory properties which help to open the airways. The bromeliad in pineapple supports sinus conditions as it may reduce swelling and mucus production and help clear respiratory congestion. 

Warm lemon water is hydrating, supports immune health, and may also help expel mucus. 

3. Create an antimicrobial herbal simmer pot.

Simmer a mixture of cinnamon sticks, citrus peels, star anise, and clove buds in a bot of water on the stove. Breathe in the warm steam, and enjoy the spicy aroma. Evidence shows that the volatile oils released into the air could have antimicrobial effects and may be beneficial for someone who is sick. 

4. Spice up your foods.

Spices such as cinnamon and ginger are warming and a delicious and nutritious way to add extra flavor to your winter dishes. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, supports blood sugar control, may help prevent infections and has antiviral properties. Ginger is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.

It may help relieve nausea, may improve brain function, can help fight infections and may aid in chronic indigestion. Turmeric is another powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spice. It may help arthritis, protect brain health, lower risk of heart disease, & prevent cancer. Turmeric may also alleviate depression. Allspice is another great spice to use this winter. It’s rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal. Allspice may relieve aches and pains, may aid gas and bloating, and may help with weight management. 

5. Eat the rainbow.

Whole plant foods provide our bodies with the nutrients and information it needs to function. Phytonutrients in colorful foods help to keep us from getting sick. Vitamin C, vitamin C, Zinc, iron, selenium and vitamin D all help to stimulate our immune response. Eating a variety of colorful foods helps you receive the variety of nutrients you need to stay healthy. 

6. Prioritize sleep.

Stick to consistent sleep/wake times. Aim to go to sleep by 10-10:30pm. Research indicates that this optimal bedtime is ideal for circadian rhythms and early daylight exposure. Get regular physical activity to help achieve more restorative sleep. Stop eating and drinking 3 hours before bedtime. Don’t drink or eat caffeine after noon. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, uncluttered, and quiet. Get early morning natural sunlight. Reduce blue light exposure. 

7. Get enough Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is one of the most important micronutrients for your health, particularly immune health. Deficiency is very common unfortunately, especially in winter when most of us are not in the sun as often. If possible, get 15 minutes of sunlight exposure (ideally early morning) daily. Foods rich in salmon to include this winter (and year round) – wild caught salmon, herring, mackerel, & sardines, mushrooms, fortified yogurts and milks and egg yolks. Ideally, have your vitamin D levels checked and if not optimal, supplementation may be necessary. 

8. Slow down.

Slowing down is especially important during the winter. Nature goes dormant during the winter because there is less energy in the air. We are designed to do the same. So give yourself more breaks. Focus on one task at a time, and be more mindful and present. 

Healthy This Winter

The best way to stay healthy in winter is to take care of yourself holistically! In addition to these 8 tips, you’ll also want to be sure to address and manage your stress, make time for relaxation and hobbies, keep your physical activity levels up, and make self-care a priority. Ensure you’re meeting all of your physical, mental and emotional needs. 

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Juliet Tabbara
Juliet was born in and raised in St. Louis, MO. She moved to Southern CA in 2008 after surviving a long distance relationship with her now husband, who she met in college. They now live in TO and have an incredibly strong-minded, smart and silly 5 year old son named Venice (we honeymooned in Italy!) and a fur-pup named Pepper. She is a certified health, wellness & nutrition coach and currently has a private practice (Nourish Within Wellness) offering 1:1 coaching. Her love language is quality time, and she enjoys being with people she loves by sharing yummy food, cocktail, or coffee and a good chat. You can find her at the farmers market in Westlake every Sunday, practicing her yogi skills at Westlake Yoga Co, at her fav. family friendly happy hour spots (101 North & The Landing), or at home baking gluten-free, plant-based, refined-sugar free goodies.


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