Being well in winter

January is a time when there is naturally less fresh food.

It’s a time when we naturally turn in and rest in warmth; Sleep and meditation are on the cards as the weather keeps seeds back from germinating. Housework and family are at the centre of our world at this time.

But we live in modern times where we work the same times in the dark winter days as when there is light and an abundance of foods in summer. How best then to maintain our health and wellbeing during the winter months? How best to stay well whilst the world takes us away from what we’re craving to do, which is rest?

Taking walks in the countryside will always be the best medicine for depression. Here’s a fascinating blog that talks about the connection between the amount of time we spend in nature and our mental health.

If it’s light we crave, then it’s light we need, especially for those who suffer from S.A.D. (Seasonal Affected Disorder) it’s been found that light boxes can be very useful in these months. In very recent research it has been found that our brain responds to the light to release a chemical called melatonin to control its natural day and night cycle called its circadian rhythms.

If you are not on conventional medication the supplement St. John’s wort can help lift the mood. It works by making us more sensitive to light. Read this page for details of when St. Johns wort should be used. If you do feel St John’s Wort could be useful I would recommend our Bio-Health supplement Hyperidrine (whose active herb is St John’s Wort) and comes without fillers. Buy it here.

As for the foods we should eat during winter, we should do the basics well, focusing on high quality macro nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. Look at cooking dried legumes, if you can, like split peas or sprouting chick peas; dried beans that can be soaked and cooked, or sprouted like aduki or mung beans. On the subject of sprouting, it’s a great way of getting the micro nutrients that can be difficult to get from winter’s seasonal foods.

The foods easily sprouted include: Alfalfa, sunflower, our raw almonds and whole lentils…and the aduki, mung and chickpeas aren’t difficult to grow. Whole peas like the Hodmedod’s Kabuki, or marrowfat, peas can be sprouted on soil and the green shoots cultivated.

Taking the longer view, this is also the time when the light is returning and the days are lengthening; these darker days will pass. Hold onto that knowledge if you’re feeling the winter blues.

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