Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Top 10 Winter Foods for Holistic Good Health!

#1: Oatmeal

Sunlight signals your body to produce the happiness hormone serotonin, so if winter’s shorter, darker days leave you feeling bleak whole grain carbs like oatmeal can give your mood a boost. Refined carbs like cakes and white bread can be tempting seasonal comforts, but these foods will cause your blood sugar to rise and then plummet, leaving you in a worse mood than before the snacking so opt for whole grains instead.

#2 Walnuts:

The drier air of winter can suck the moisture out of your skin, leaving it dull, tight, and itchy.  Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like walnuts will combat your dry-skin problem from the inside, as omega-3's help maintain healthy cell membranes. Walnuts are also, as there form suggests, a great brain health food.

#3: Garlic
The chemical found in garlic called allicin has been shown in many studies to stimulate the production of infection-fighting white blood cells, keeping winter infections at bay. Add it to your meals or take in odour-controlled capsule form.

#4: Winter squash

Squash is fibre rich and as such can help you from overindulging during the festive season. Fibre rich foods contain relatively low calories, and are digested more slowly thus keeping you fuller for longer. Available year round but at their seasonal height in late winter.

#5: Kiwis

One symptom of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which also unfortunately excacbates, it is disturbed sleep patterns, recent studies have shown that eating a couple of kiwi fruits half an hour to an hour before bed may help you to sleep, and to sleep through the night. As Kiwis are rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin C, this can help promote the synthesis and transmission of neurotransmitters. Calcium particularly has the effect of stabilizing emotion.

#6: Ginger

For circulation-stimulation add ginger to your meals or infuse in hot water to keep your extremities warm throughout the chilly months. Ginger has also been shown to boost immunity so a stir-fry with ginger and garlic would be an ideal immune boost too.

#7: Mushrooms

As long as you don't have candida or any type of yeast intolerance mushrooms are an ideal winter food. Mushrooms contain vitamin D, which is very difficult to obtain throughout the winter due to lack of sunlight. Vitaim D is as important an immune boost as vitamin C and zinc. Mushrooms are also full of mood and energy-boosting B vitamins.

#8: Chestnuts

A well-known Christmas staple chestnuts are in fact a healthy winter food. The nut is a great source of B vitamins and  potassium both of which are easily run down by the inevitable seasonal alcohol induldgence. Chestnuts are also one of the only nuts that contain vitamin C, meaning they are great for fighting off colds too.

#9: Cabbage

The red cabbage particularly is a winter nutrition powerhouse, full of vitamins including A, B6, (great for PMS), C and K. Cabbage also has anti-inflammatory properties, particularly for the gut as it contains the protective, soothing, amino acid glutamine.

#10: Brussel Sprouts!

Brussels sprouts contain nearly 50 percent more vitamin C than oranges. Vitaimn C is a powerful antioxidant and cold-fighter. Even if you're not a fan, it only takes four to six sprouts to satisfy an adult's vitamin C daily requirements.

Emma Silverthorn is a receptionist at the Octagon Chiropractic Clinic