Friday 02 June, 2017 0 Comments

Winter is officially here.

For the next three months, we've got colder days, longer nights and lots of mud and rain to look forward to! 

Jokes aside, these changing winter weather conditions affect more than your routine outdoor activities—they can actually disrupt some of your body’s natural processes and impact our health.

While you may feel the need to keep up with your active, summer self, winter is a time to slow down, nourish your body and give it the time it needs to adjust.

Our BePure team have put together a list of the 8 things you need to do this winter to get the nutrients you need and stay warm, happy and healthy.

1. Eat seasonal produce 

Fruit and vegetables that have been allowed to ripen naturally have the greatest number of nutrients.

"Fruit and vegetables that have been allowed to ripen naturally have the greatest number of nutrients."

We know through studies conducted on supermarket produce, four days after harvest, many fruits and vegetables have lost up to 80% of their nutrient levels.

"Four days after harvest, many fruits and vegetables have lost up to 80% of their nutrient levels."

In additional to having a higher nutrient density, choosing to buy local, seasonal produce is usually cheaper as it is more abundant and it hasn't had to travel far to reach you.

2. Get lots of vitamin C

Stress and sickness both place a heavy demand on our bodies. In winter, it’s especially crucial to get as many nutrients as possible from what we eat. This will help support and boost our immune system allowing it to stay on top of colds and flu.

Nature is pretty clever this way. Fruits that are in season now and throughout winter, such as kiwifruit, oranges and mandarins are all rich in vitamin C. 

"Fruits that are in season now and throughout winter, such as kiwifruit, oranges and mandarins are all rich in vitamin C."

It has been found that vitamin C boosts the production of antibody molecules. These are required to assist the body in the defence of bacteria and viruses keeping you on top of niggly coughs and colds.

At BePure we take BePure Super Boost C. This is our high-strength vitamin C nutritional support.  

 

3. Warming foods 

During colder months, it’s also a good idea to give our digestive systems a bit of a break from raw foods such as salads.

Lightly steaming or sautéing your veggies as well as cooking them in soups, curries, stews, roasting them or putting them in the slow cooker will keep you warm and nourished.

We love our comforting Kumara and Chickpea Red Curry recipe. It's great over cauliflower or basmati rice on any chilly afternoon.

 

4. Warming spices

"Spices that stimulate circulation, bring blood to the surface of the skin and warm up the body are known as warming spices."

There's a reason that cold chilly evenings bring to mind the comforting smell of chai and spiced hot chocolate. In traditional Chinese medicine, food is classified for its effect on energy in the body.

Spices that stimulate circulation, bring blood to the surface of the skin and warm up the body are known as warming spices.

Here are some of our favourites:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamon
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Back pepper 
  • Cayenne pepper

These spices are a great way to warm you up on cold winter days, are extremely nutrient dense, help to soothe digestion, regulate blood sugar, top up your minerals and much more. 

This winter add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your porridge, spices in your curries or stew, ginger to your smoothie, black pepper to any of your meals, and have a go making our BePure Turmeric and Chai Lattes.

 

5. More Sleep  

As the nights get longer we need to adjust our sleep patterns. You may have noticed that you want to burrow under your covers more often than not at this time of year. 

"You may have noticed that you want to burrow under your covers more often than not at this time of year."

A key cause of this effect is the lack of natural light in winter. It can actually disrupt some of your bodies natural sleep hormone process.

The reduced exposure to natural light in winter suppresses cortisol; the daytime hormone that wakes us up in the morning. This is why you can often wake up to your alarm feeling groggy in winter. 

Melatonin is the other hormone that regulates sleep and is produced when the natural light starts to fade. In summer, when sunset is later so too are our melatonin levels. Our bodies natural response to this is to go to bed later. 

"Because nightfall is earlier in winter, and there is less light overall, we are genuinely more tired earlier in the day."

Because nightfall is earlier in winter, and there is less light overall, we are genuinely more tired earlier in the day.

Rather than waking up at 5.30am and pushing through that morning fitness routine, enjoy that extra hour of sleep and feel your body thank you for it.

 

6. Eat more healthy fats 

Winter can be very drying on your skin. Heaters, wind, colder temps, the list goes on. Consuming healthy fats and oils provides your skin with the oils and moisture it needs to stay hydrated and supple. 

"Consuming healthy fats and oils provides your skin with the oils and moisture it needs to stay hydrated and supple."

Here are some healthy fats that you can include in your diet:

  • Avocado
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Tahini
  • Oily fish – such as mackerel, sardines and salmon
  • Fat from animal products including butter, ghee and lard

It's important to understand the difference between 'good' and 'bad' fats and remember that everything is best when consumed mindfully and in moderation. 

Ensuring you're supporting your body with a good quality fish oil like BePure Three is also important for keeping up the good fats in your diet.

 

7. Stay Hydrated 

As we just discussed winter can have a drying effect on your skin. We can all tell we're dehydrated when we wake up with chapped lips or scaly legs, however it's less obvious to see the dehydrating effect winter can have on your body.

The cooler weather means you may not feel the need to drink water to quench your thirst – the way you would during the summer, however, it's still just as important to stay hydrated. Our body is made up of 60% water, so making sure that you are getting optimal amounts of water is essential for feeling good and having optimal health and energy.



"Our body is made up of 60% water, so making sure that you are getting optimal amounts of water is essential for feeling good and having optimal health and energy.

"

Water transports nutrients throughout the body, aids in digestion, regulates temperature, facilitates all pathways of detoxification, protects our joints, promotes healthy bowel movements, improves mental concentration and relieves fatigue.

 

During the winter try to drink a warm glass of water with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar before breakfast and sip on tea throughout the day.  

 

8. Practice Mindfulness and Gratitude

It can sound a little bit abstract, but mindful wellbeing is key in living a healthy holistic lifestyle that is both enjoyable and sustainable. Especially during winter when many of us experience the “winter blues."

During winter we often go to work when it’s dark, return home when it’s dark and frequently find it’s too wet to enjoy the outdoor activities we like doing – it's common sense for us to feel a bit down! If you have young kids and it’s wet outside, you’re also dealing with a lot of energy contained indoors.

"It can sound a little bit abstract, but mindful wellbeing the key to living a healthy holistic lifestyle that is both enjoyable and sustainable."

If you think you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder or are currently struggling with depression-like symptoms please seek assistance. You can contact your GP or health care provider, the BePure team at info@bepure.co.nz, www.depression.org.nz or the depression helpline at 0800 111 757.

Mindful wellbeing isn’t the “what” to do, it’s “how” to do it. It’s practices, habits, thoughts and behaviours that you can use to embrace calmness, balance and mindfulness to bring you energy and happiness.  

"...you are intentionally and actively seeking to lower your body’s response to stress."

These things are highly personal, however at their core is the same principle; you are intentionally and actively seeking to lower your body’s response to stress.

Here are some strategies and practices that might help you make positive changes this winter:

  • Actually take a lunch break and use the time to clear your mind or call a loved one.
  • Put on a rain jacket, grab a pair of gumboots and go for a walk in nature.
  • Learn to meditate. 1 Giant Mind is a non-profit, free app, that teaches you how to do this in 12 easy steps.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Place this by your bed and each night write three things you're grateful for.  
  • Switch technology off two hours before bed. This is the best strategy we have for creating more down time. It also opens up space in your day to reflect on your day, connect with your partner, read a book or take a bath.
  • Liven up the spaces you spend your time in. This could be getting a new plant for your desk at work, placing some of your favourite teas in a pretty jar for a quick pick-me-up, or getting rid of clutter.

 

Let us know what works for you this winter. Share any tips or ideas you try on Instagram with us. Tag us in your pictures @bepurbenwarren and we'll get back to you!





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