As 2016 makes it’s final lap, many of us are buckling up for the rest of a holidays and the wintery months that follow! Our Functional Medicine team offers three simple survival tips to boost your energy and help you stay happy and healthy this winter.
1. Vitamin D.
In the wintertime there is a very biological reason that we long for the sun. Our bodies make Vitamin D when exposed to the sun, which controls many functions including the prevention of cancer, reducing inflammation, controlling high blood pressure, boosting mood, preventing depression, easing muscle aches and fibromyalgia, and building bones.
Over the winter months, starting with the holidays, you can bash the winter blues by making sure you’re getting optimal Vitamin D.
First thing, get tested for deficiency.
Secondly, make sure when taken supplements you are taking the right kind. Working with a medical professional is the best way to ensure that you’re on track with what is most effective for your body.
Lastly, it’s important to opt for dietary sources of Vitamin D like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and whole eggs. What we eat greatly influences our health. A visit with a doctor who specializes in Functional Medicine can help you better understand how your diet is impacting your well being.
Back to #1: did you know that people with Vitamin D deficiency are 11 times more likely to get a cold or flu? So, let food be your first line of defense. Drink plenty of fluids like broths and herbal teas so that your body is hydrated and functioning at top speed. Avoid simple sugars when possible, which is probably the worst thing you can hear at the time of the year when sugar plums literally dancing in our heads. According to studies, refined sugars can suppress the immune system for hours after eating. When facing temptation, approach your dessert plate with tactful moderation and arm yourself with a ziplock baggie of fruits or dark chocolates to make it past the holiday treats.
3. Eat like a pro.
Curb holiday cravings by starting the day on track and sticking to a regular eating schedule. Eat breakfast and don’t skip any meals. Snacking is fine, just make sure you are eating at regular rhythms and times. Just as important as the times you eat are what you eat. To balance blood sugar and reduce cravings, include a protein at every meal and avoid going more than 4 hours without a meal or a snack. Keeping on hand higher protein snacks such as nitrate free jerky, sprouted pumpkin seeds, or minimally processed bars like The Rx Bar and Epic Bar, is a great way to set yourself up for success and prevent reaching the “point of no return” when faced with a food spread at a holiday party.
For patients seeking support with winter health goals, we offer a range Functional Medicine services and blood tests to help seek out the root cause of your symptoms. Visit us online to schedule for a complimentary consultation or call, 773.598.4387.