Winter can be the most wonderful time of year. What’s better than the crisp air, making snow angels and a warm cup of tea? For some of us, however, winter can also bring about the cold and flu, dry skin and a downturn in our health goals.

Here, the Canadian Health Food Association shares some top tips and natural remedies to keep these common winter health concerns at bay.

Say no to cold and flu

If you’re plagued with a runny nose, ceaseless coughing, a fever and pounding headache, try a zinc supplement. It can speed up recovery and has been shown to prevent rhinovirus (the most common cause of a cold) from reproducing. When purchasing supplements, always look for the eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN). This certifies that Health Canada has reviewed and approved the product for safety, efficacy and quality.

Consuming plenty of vitamin C-rich foods like bell peppers; dark, leafy greens and citrus fruits is also an effective preventative measure against colds. Another way to combat the cold and flu is to supplement with echinacea. Just remember that time is of the essence — it’s important to begin using it as soon as symptoms appear.

Skin sense

Combine colder temperatures outside with indoor heating, and what you get is a recipe for dry skin. If your skin has a tendency to dry out, start by looking at your diet. Healthy fats, such as the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and flaxseeds, along with antioxidants like vitamin A, can help skin maintain its elasticity. Natural oils like coconut act as emollients that provide a softening effect. Other helpful oils include grapeseed oil, sea buckthorn oil, argan oil and vitamin E, which all help to lock in moisture and heal damaged skin.

Stay warm

A regimen that consists of regular exercise will get your blood pumping and blood vessels dilating, distributing warmth to your body’s extremities. A good workout also burns calories, a process that produces lasting heat. Plus, the rush of endorphins we get from exercising is another benefit, as they help to balance mood so we can combat winter blues.

The Author:

Find a CHFA Member health food store in your neighbourhood, as well as other ways to naturally stay healthy in the winter, online at chfa.ca.

Source: (NC) www.newscanada.com

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