We’re in the midst of winter, and although it has been more mild than previous years, there is a magnified desire to nurture our health and well-being with the ongoing presence of the pandemic. We’ve consulted with our co-founder, product formulator, and trained holistic nutritionist, Marius Morariu, on ways to boost our immunity and nurture our bodies when feeling under the weather.
For regular consumption, fresh and locally available foods during winter are best. Think squash, root vegetables, and potatoes, especially sweet potatoes. Stews and soups are the perfect warming dish that can be packed with healthy proteins, as well as antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory spices. Cinnamon can warm sweet dishes and regulate blood sugar for your deserts, as well.
While raw foods can have incredible nutritional benefits as well as useful enzymes both Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda recommend eating more cooked food in the winter. Also beans, grains, or roots are often unsafe raw, as they can contain chemicals that protect the plant from being eaten in the wild. Boiling food can be the one of the most nutritional ways to consume cooked food, as it maintains the nutritional integrity of the dish without adding oils that may have detrimental effects when heated.
For general immunity-boosting, vitamins and minerals are the easiest way to fortify the body. Vitamin D is key, and for vegan diets can be found in mushrooms, most notably in Shiitake, a powerful immune-booster. Vitamin C from berries or citrus, as well as Zinc from nuts, beans, and seeds can aid in the bodies natural protection from pathogens. When increasing your Zinc intake it is recommended to also increase your Copper intake a mineral that can help your antioxidant status and your collagen.
However, even with all the help that food and diet have to offer, sometimes illness can strike. When feeling under the weather, turn to foods that soothe the body. Soups and broths filled with mushroom, garlic, ginger, and scallion will warm the body. Pears, especially Asian pears, help tonify and moisten the lungs, and raspberries contain an orchestra of antibacterial phytochemcials that can inhibit infection. As a rule of thumb in Chinese Medicine, use cinnamon, ginger, and scallion in food and beverages when feeling cold, and reach for peppermint tea to cool down a fever.
We wish everyone a healthy and restful winter season, and when feeling under the weather, we are always here to help.