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How to stay healthy this winter

Winter is the ideal time to restore your mind, rest your body and prepare your soul for the vitality of spring. Read on for some Ayurveda-inspired tips...

by Psychologies

One of the key beliefs of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian philosophy, is that we must adapt our lifestyle according to different stages in life, including the seasons, and you can do this in a number of easy ways, says Sebastian Pole, director of Pukka Herbs. Here are a few lifestyle tips you can follow to feel the benefits of Ayurveda in the colder months.

1 Move over echinacea, elderberry is the new superfood

Recent studies have championed the elderberry’s anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Many claim it is much more effective at maintaining a strong immune system than echinacea because its been shown to neutralise 10 strains of the flu virus. Even the flu jab is only good at protecting against a couple of viruses. Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, elderberries can ease flu symptoms like fever, headache, sore throat, fatigue, cough and body aches. Elderberries can be consumed all year round to provide protection and build resistance ahead of winter.

To make the most of the protective properties elderberries have to offer, and introduce some of their natural goodness to your diet, take one teaspoon of Pukka’s Elderberry Syrup up to three times a day. If you’re starting to feel run down, try three teaspoons a day and you may be able to beat that cold or flu. Or, if you are already suffering, you may be able to shorten your flu duration by half. As it tastes great, it’s perfect for the little ones in the family, too; give them just half a teaspoon up to three times a day.

2 Live according to the seasons

As we know, the climate we live in affects our health due to the varying temperatures and weather we experience. To stay healthy in changing seasons, we must adapt. Ayurveda suggests we stay in cool places and eat cool foods when the weather is hot, but switch to warmer places and warmer food as it becomes colder. 

3 Eat the right food

Ayurveda recommends a healthy relationship with healthy foods. Ensuring you get the best nutrition means you should start with the best ingredients. This means fresh unprocessed and organically grown and definitely making sure you get your ‘5 a day’. Generally speaking, Ayurveda considers the most beneficial foods to be rice, barley, mung beans, asparagus, grapes, pomegranates, ginger, ghee, unpasteurised milk and honey. Ayurveda also recommends avoiding habitual use of ‘heavy’ meats, cheeses, yogurt, refined salt, processed foods, yeast, coffee, tomatoes, bananas, citrus fruits and black lentils. These can create stagnation and undigested toxins, considered to be the scourge of health.

4 Eat the right way

Digestion is not only centred on what you eat but also how you eat. Ayurveda recommends that before you eat anything, you need to be calm, If you are stressed, depressed, angry or rushed, it is better not to eat, or only very lightly. You should try to eat in a peaceful place, chew your food gently and remember not to overeat to allow your food to taste better and your digestion to be improved.

Sebastian Pole’s top three herbs to introduce into your diet in the colder months are:

Andrographis It helps enhance the immune system and fight off infection and fever. Recommended product: Pukka Andrographis

Thyme It can stimulate the immune system with its strong antiseptic properties. Recommended product: Pukka Elderberry Syrup

Gotu Kola It helps heal the skin and enhance circulation. Recommended product: Pukka Wholistic Gotu Kola