Winter is a difficult season for the human body to cope with. Many people become ill and have gastrointestinal problems due to the abrupt change in weather. The dark and chilly winter days have an impact not only on the skin and hair, but also on the overall physical health. As a result, it is critical to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle during the winter months.
With a bit of self-care and right food choices, you can keep your digestive fire burning all winter long.
The following tips and foods mentioned below can work wonderfully for you, and are super easy to implement in your daily holistic health routine.
Superfoods and tips to improve digestion this winter
1) Eliminate cold and raw foods: Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures tends to lower metabolism. Cold and raw foods are difficult to eat at this time of the year and more difficult for your body to digest. It is best to reduce or avoid frozen foods, as well as iced or chilled drinks as they can cause digestive system contraction and poor blood circulation. Limit salad-based meals, limit raw foods, and blend veggies and fats into a soup.
2) Increase intake of winter veggies: Winter vegetables are extremely beneficial to the digestive system. The diet also keeps you full for a long time, reducing your desire to binge on other fattening foods. It includes root vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, beets, and turnips, as well as winter greens such as kale, mustard greens, and leeks. Furthermore, the high fibre content of seasonal vegetables aids in the movement of a sluggish digestive system and the regulation of blood sugar levels. Other winter vegetables, such as mustard greens, fenugreek, spinach, and cholai, are high in dietary fibre, which aids in digestion and elimination. Choose vitamin C-rich foods such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots. And beets to your diet to boost your immune system during the colder months.
3) Stay hydrated: When the temperature drops suddenly, it causes a decrease in our fluid intake, which isn’t the best idea for your digestion. Water deficiency stiffens the intestines, making food passage more difficult. It is critical to stay hydrated at all times for smoother movement through the intestines and elimination. As a result, drink 3-4 litres of water every day.
4) Sip warm water and herbal tea: Sipping warm water in the morning with apple cider vinegar and fresh ginger is all warming and nourishing during this season. When it’s cold outside, stick to teas instead of hot cocoa or sugary drinks. Herbal teas with ginger, pepper and lemongrass early in the morning can keep you warm in the cold weather.
5) Consume herbs and warming spices: When herbs and spices are mixed into food, they can facilitate digestion. Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, cumin seeds, and cloves are all herbs that have a miraculous ability to stimulate the digestive fire and boost the immune system. You can also use them to flavour tea, soups, curries, and desserts.
6) Do physical activity: Reduced activity during the cold winter months causes gastrointestinal distress or worsens existing gastrointestinal conditions. But regular exercise can greatly improve your digestive health. During the cooler months, follow your routine as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal upset.
7) Use ghee in your diet: Ghee has the ability to keep you warm when the temperature outside plummets. Our forefathers included ghee in their diets, especially during the winter, because it helps to keep our winter woes at bay. The health advantages of ghee have been scientifically established. Adding ghee in your diet not only promotes healthy gut bacteria, which is essential for digestion, but also helps the immune system in cold weather. According to Ayurvedic medicine, ghee a ‘samskaraanuvartana’, which means it not only retains its own goodness, but also health benefits of whatever it is cooked with.
8) Practice hands-on belly breathing: Belly breathing helps in digestion and is helpful for anyone who is experiencing cramping, bloating, or gastric issues with their GI tract at this time of year. Simply lie down and gently place your hands on your abdomen, inhaling and exhaling slowly through your nose. For at least 2 minutes, close your eyes and breathe into your hands. The warmth of your hands, combined with deep breathing calms the central nervous system and relieves cramping, promoting nourishment in health in winter.
A dip in temperature can cause mild digestive issues. Adopting a supportive winter diet and lifestyle this winter can ensure a long-term investment in your own health and vitality.