Staying healthy and well during the colder months can be a challenge. From the uptick of flus and Covid, to shorter days and less sunshine, winter urges us to be especially mindful of our wellness practices. Our Whole Health experts share some simple ways to keep your body and mind healthy this winter.
As always, you can find the products mentioned in this blog and more choices in the Whole Health department of your local Market of Choice.
Boost Your Immune Health
Your immune system is your first line of defense against winter colds and flus, so paying attention to immune health becomes particularly important during the winter season. Here are a few natural ways you can support and strengthen your immune system to feel your best every day.
Take elderberry supplements. Elderberries are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties that may help boost your immune system. Nature’s Way Sambucus utilizes the natural immune-boosting properties of pure elderberry extract to make supplements in several accessible forms, including gummies, syrups and drink mixes. Mickelberry Gardens is another great choice in elderberry supplements, especially if you like honey with your berries.
Go for a power pack. Pure Food IMMUNE supplements contain ten widely studied natural immunity ingredients available, including vitamin C, E, vitamin B6, zinc, L-glutamine HCL, elderberry extract, Echinacea powder, garlic powder, turmeric curcumin, and probiotics. They’re like a power punch of immunities.
Get into mycology. More and more people are learning about the amazing immune boosting power of fungi, like lion’s mane, chaga, turkey tail and reishi, among others. But you don’t have to be a mycologist to reap the benefits. Host Defense Mycommunity Immune System Booster harnesses the power of mushroom mycelium in a convenient capsule to support an engaged and modulated immune response.
Use Natural Cold, Flu and Sore Throat Remedies
When those pesky winter viruses creep in, it’s normal to want to feel better fast. But it’s also important to be mindful of the remedies you use, as many over-the-counter medications come with unwanted side effects. Here are a few recommendations for natural medicine for cold, flu and sore throat that actually work.
Boiron Oscillococcinum is a non-habit forming, homeopathic multi-symptom flu medicine that works when taken at the first sign of symptom, without drowsiness or harmful drug interactions. You may also want to try their line of cold and cough medicines.
Beekeeper’s Naturals Propolis Cough Syrup uses the 300+ beneficial compounds in propolis to make a natural cough syrup based on ancient remedies that supports immune function, soothes scratchy throats and combat free radical damage in the body.
Manukora Manuka Honey is gaining popularity as more people are learning about the throat soothing benefits of this antioxidant rich monofloral honey. It tastes amazing too with a texture that’s rich and creamy with notes of caramel and blossom. Try a spoonful in your hot tea.
Add Bone Broth to Your Diet
Along with its warm and comforting effect, a cup of bone broth may have other health benefits. It’s rich in minerals that support immune function and contains healing compounds like collagen that promote better skin elasticity. Additionally, the small amounts of glycine found in bone broth may support deeper, more restful sleep. Many people use bone broth as an ingredient in their home cooking, or simply drink it on its own.
When you want to get the benefits of bone broth, but you’re always on the run, we love Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Collagen Protein powder for an easy, accessible and delicious way to incorporate this essential nutrient into a busy routine.
Love cooking with bone broth? Try our recipe for Beef Bone Broth Ramen with Ribeye and Mushrooms.
Don’t Forget Vitamins D & C
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is made by the body in response to sun exposure. It’s responsible for bone health, energy, immune function, and it lowers our susceptibility to infection, including respiratory infections.
As it turns out, vitamin C makes a great companion to the sunshine vitamin, as it helps defend our bodies from seasonal sinus and lung illnesses. Vitamin C also helps integrate collagen and neurotransmitters, like dopamine and adrenaline, into our bodies. Needless to say, getting enough vitamins D and C becomes especially important during these long, rainy Oregon winters when we have less exposure to sun. Here are some of our recommendations for vitamin supplements.
MegaFood vitamins include nourishing food and herb blends for additional nourishment that’s easier on the stomach than some other vitamin supplements.
Carlson makes getting all the benefits of vitamins C and D easy on the stomach too with their Mild-C formula that’s available in a capsule or drink mix. And, their Solar D Gems provide a healthy dose of the sunshine vitamin along with 115mg of wild caught, sustainably sourced omega-3s in a natural lemon flavor.
Winter Skin and Hair Care
Colder temperatures and persistent moisture in the air can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. Not to mention hot showers and central heat inside your home can strip away moisture and natural oils, causing itchy skin and dry brittle hair. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to protect your skin and hair during the colder months. Here are a few of our best tips and products to keep you looking your best this winter.
Getting plenty of essential fatty acids is important for skin health. Specifically, Gamma Linoleic Acids (GLAs) found in Borage Seed Oil. Nordic Naturals’ Complete Omega formulas are a great source for getting your daily dose of essential fatty acids.
Weleda Skin Food is another staff favorite in our Whole Health department. Made with high quality plant oils, natural extracts and essential oils, these moisturizers hydrate your skin without hurting the environment.
Switching from a foaming face cleanser to a cream or milk in the winter can help lock moisture in as well. We recommend evanhealy’s Facial Cleansing Milks.
For those rough heels and chapped hands, try Inesscents Body Oils and Butters, made locally in Ashland, Oregon.
Conditioning treatments are key to keeping hair soft and silky during the winter months. We love Condition and Glisten Herbal Hair Oil by Take Haven, a lightweight, herbally-infused hair oil that can be used daily to soften and smooth unruly hair, or massaged into the scalp to combat dry, itchy skin. Hair oil is healthy any time of year, but especially soothing to the scalp and hair during the winter.
Winter wellness takes a little foresight and preparation, but the effort pays off when we’re able to maintain our daily routines and lifestyles. Try these simple tips from our experts in the Whole Health department to boost your immune system, treat flu bugs, and keep hair and skin looking their best throughout the season.
Disclaimer: Our website provides educational and informational content only and should not be considered a substitute for consultation, diagnosis, treatment or other professional medical advice from a healthcare professional. Additionally, our website content is not designed to provide you with a medical diagnosis, treatment or other medical services. If you have questions beyond what our team can answer or the manufacturer can provide, please seek the guidance of a medical professional.