The onset of winter can prove to be a period of ill-health if you are not consuming a nutritious diet or following a balanced lifestyle. Noorul Ameen, naturopathy physician at Organic India, gives tips to stay fit and enjoy the chilly season:
* Add a few drops of apple cider vinegar for detoxification and blood purification. It has properties which can ease your sinus issues during winter, give lustre to limp dry hair which falls under the stress of winter pollution, and enliven your skin.
* Sip Tulsi tea for antioxidants. Winter months are associated with lower immunity which increases your chances of contracting the flu. Tulsi (Holy Basil) enhances your immune system to fight viruses. It also improves the body’s overall defence mechanism, reduces stress, improves stamina, boosts immunity, fights and prevents chronic disease, and provides a rich supply of antioxidants and other nutrients.
* Turn to organic honey to boost immunity: Organic honey is nature’s nectar that contains several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to boost immunity levels to deal with winter allergies.
* Organic coconut oil to fight dry skin: Another common issue we face is dry, flaky skin caused by the cold breeze and dehydration in winter. The best all-round elixir is organic virgin coconut oil. When applied externally, coconut oil keeps the skin moisturised, prevents dry, scaly skin, and strengthens the connective tissue under the skin. With its anti-microbial properties, the skin stays healthy and nourished. Stay hydrated in winter to make sure your skin stays healthy.
* Organic ghee to keep your body warm: Including organic ghee in your diet is one of the best ways to keep your body warm and helps in dealing with winter dryness.
Raghubansh Singh, senior Ayurvedic physician at Ananda in the Himalayas, has some Ayurvedic tips to keep your skin glowing in the winter season:
* Include oil-rich foods in your daily diet such as nuts (especially walnuts and blanched almonds), ground flaxseeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, olive oil, ghee in small amounts, and green leafy vegetables (they contain Omega 3 acids that can purify the skin and liver).
* Get in the habit of “oiling up” each morning with the Ayurvedic self-massage “abhyanga” before your bath or shower. This will lubricate and protect your skin and give your complexion a radiant sheen that lasts through the day.
* Be sure to drink plenty of water. Rather than cold or iced water (which aggravates Vata), drink your water warm, or at least at room temperature.
* Use herbs like Amla, Aloe vera, Shunthi, Manjishtha, Anantamool, Triphala and Chandan, which have detoxifying properties and help retain moisture.