How to care for your health during the Winter Months

As we are in the winter season this is a great time to think about optimum nutrition and getting your body in the best health possible for the next few months. 

Bone broth is an ideal way to get a wide range of bio-available nutrients in an easy-to-digest form. Its amino acid structure and high gelatin content makes it soothing and healing for the gut and enhances the absorption of nutrients from other foods as well. Broth contains the collagen, which supports hair, skin, and nail health. It also contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulphates and other compounds that support joint health. Broth is an excellent source of proline, glycine, arginine, and glutamine which are some of the amino acids that are often difficult to get from diet alone.

 As we now understand that much of the immune system is in the gut, broth is especially helpful because its high gelatin/collagen content supports gut health and its amino acids help reduce inflammation.

www.nourishedkitchen.com/bone-broth gives us a good definition of the differences between broth, stock, and bone broth.

  • Broth is typically made with meat and can contain a small amount of bones (think of the bones in a fresh whole chicken).  Broth is typically simmered for a short period of time (45 minutes to 2 hours). It is exceptionally light in flavour, thin in texture and rich in protein.
  • Stock is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat (think of the meat that adheres to a beef neck bone).  Often the bones are roasted before simmering them as this simple technique greatly improves the flavour.  Beef stocks, for example, can present a faint acrid flavour if the bones are not first roasted.  Stock is typically simmered for a moderate amount of time (3 to 4 hours).  Stock is rich in minerals and gelatin.
  • Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with stock, bones are typically roasted first to improve the flavour of the bone broth. Bone broths are typically simmered for an exceedingly long period of time (often more than 24 hours).  This long cooking time helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones.  At the end of cooking, so many minerals have leached from the bones and into the broth that the bones crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger.

You can either make your own HERE or buy from reputable sources such as HERE

Use bone broth in soups, stews, and casseroles or as a drink on its own. If you are a vegetarian then you can make your own version here but of course it will not contain the gelatin, some amino acids and collagen that the meat version does. A recipe can be found HERE

What other support can you give your body this winter?

  • Bone broth supports good gut health, but you can also supplement with beneficial bacteria in the form of probiotics such as acidophilus capsules or Bio Kult capsules. Commercially available yogurt type drinks such as Actimel and Yakult can be an issue with those who have a sensitive digestion when consuming dairy or sugar.
  • There are plenty of foods that help to feed good bacteria in the gut as you can read more about these HERE
  • You can also stimulate the growth of your good bacteria in your gut by consuming prebiotics such as inulin and oligo fructose and pectin. Foods that are great to stimulate the growth and maintenance of beneficial gut microbiota are asparagus, onions, bananas, leeks, apples, garlic, and artichokes.
  • Remember to include a variety of produce such as dark skinned fruits, leafy greens (kale, chard, and spinach) broccoli, cauliflower, berries, celery, non-glutinous grains such as buckwheat and quinoa, nuts, and seeds in your diet as much as possible. These all contain fibre that will also feed the gut and assist in digestion. Choose the options that work best for you and expand to newer options as your body allows.
  • Always consume 1.5-2 litres of clear filtered water daily to help support the function of all your bodily cells, and it helps to detoxify the body, improve brain function and elimination. Other supportive drinks over the winter months are raw honey or Manuka honey with fresh lemon juice in hot water daily and herbal drinks such as Tulsi tea, camomile, peppermint, fennel and lemon and ginger. Add a little shot of turmeric spice to them to boost their anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
  • Ensure that you get good quality sleep and find something that helps you to unwind and reduce stress levels to help keep the stress hormone cortisol at an acceptable level. Stretching is so important to help with optimal alignment and correct muscle movement so make it part of your daily routine to fit in some yoga moves to release and lengthen tightness in the muscles. You can even use a foam roller to help in release the connective tissue that can cause tight and stiff muscles and a version can be found HERE .

Above all enjoy looking after yourself, nourish your body and give plenty of self-care, and your body will reward you with being in tip top condition and functioning at its absolute best.

The information covers lifestyle, diet, and nutrition. It is important however, that you do not self-prescribe vitamin and herbal supplements as not all agree with every individual. See a qualified specialist who can recommend the correct dosage of vitamins, nutrients, and herbal supplements for your body.

This information has been written for information only to assist the reader in identifying lifestyle factors that can improve the quality of their health. The reader acts alone and I do not accept any responsibility whatsoever for anything arising because of the contents of this book. Do not discontinue taking any medication without first consulting your GP. Always consult a qualified doctor or health practitioner.

Nina Parnham cannot accept responsibility for any consequences, medical, psychological, financial of otherwise arising out of failure to seek medical advice from a doctor or qualified specialists in the field of nutrition or other areas mentioned in this blog.


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