Fuel Your Body Nutritiously This Winter

Welcome to mother earths winter personality months, where warm welcoming sun rises and sun sets are swapped with darker mornings and often a cold bitter breeze.  

Different does not however mean any less beautiful. Like a woman with many faces we and our bodies must adjust our approach to her with a welcoming understanding of our part in the unity and circle of life. In the coming months our bodies will require nutritionally the same things as when we change our cute autumn cardigan for a warm fleeced cover. Instead of the light cooling nutrient dense foods that are provided for our nourishment in the summer such as salads, berries, tomatoes along with the hydration rich cucumber and melons, we now require a whole different balance of foods that again are provided for our protection and maintenance this season.

 

IMG_1122

Season being the word, it's not rocket science to see the earth provides what the body needs. Though the winter carrots, cabbages, leeks and such may not seem as inviting as the previous seasons harvest. They are vital to the warming environment needed to help you slip into the season illness free. We will need to keep warm from the inside out so soup and warm oatmeal season has officially begun. To maintain internal balance during the cold winter months, consume more protein, natural starches and less alkaline foods. It’s important not to cheat the body of vitamin rich food. Nature makes no artificial substitutes for vitamins and minerals so let it be our first point of call rather than the pharmacy shelf.

 

Photo Credit: Tai Patrick

Your protein source does not always have to be flesh based. You can provide your temple with protein needs from godly like seeds such as Quinoa. This is a complete protein since it contains all nine essential amino acids. Buckwheat which is a grain also has a mean protein punch. Both of these are beautiful in a warming winter soup. Starches are found in all foods made from grains, starchy vegetables or their flours. Steel-cut oats, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice and other foods made from grains are rich in natural starches. Other great sources of natural starch are starchy root vegetables, such as white potatoes, sweet potatoes. Winter squashes, such as pumpkin, butternut squash and acorn squash, also contain some natural starches, but in smaller quantities than grains and starchy vegetables.

 

Photo Credit: Tai Patrick

Winter Squash contains 214% of your daily Vitamin A allowance along with 32% of your daily vitamin C allowance so you can see why the earth harvests these items for us in these months. Garlic is another harvest that should find its way into your winter nutrition. Garlic is a powerful, natural antibiotic - and it doesn't kill off our healthy bacteria like prescribed antibiotics do. Unlike chemical antibiotics, garlic is also an effective antiviral and antifungal - and taking just a few cloves of garlic each day can really speed infections away.

 

Photo Credit: Tai Patrick

There are also items nature provides for our wellbeing in the winter that mostly go un noticed by our distracted eye. Things like the rose bud which is the fruit from the Wild Rose or Rosa Canina. Just one bud from this bush is your entire daily requirement of Vitamin C. It can be simply picked from the bush, squeeze to remove the seeds and enjoy its sweet flavor. Herbals are also not to be forgotten. Your green tea will be a necessary free flow of antioxidants and therefore sickness prevention. Another amazing addition to your herbal collection should be Rooibos/Red Bush tea. It is over 50 times more active in antioxidant properties than green tea and is caffeine free. Its antioxidant activity is more potent than what can be found in 22 known fruits and veg. 

The influences of food and climate intimately bind humankind to the inescapable and very beautiful natural laws of yin and yang. Cold weather creates an inner universal need for warmth and yang foods. Hot or warm weather creates an inner requirement for cooler yin foods. If you pay attention to your body like you do to the vibrant changes of the tree as the seasons move, you will become more attuned to the deep rooted fact that we are part of that change and to need adapting to that which happening around us. Make listening to your body a priority this season and it will love you back.