With winter practically around the corner, most of us have reached the point where the arsenal of immune system-boosting rituals needs to come out to help us acclimate to the oncoming cold. From hot soups throughout the week to natural remedies like ginger, turmeric, and Manuka honey, it’s smart to prepare yourself for winter by making it an easier one, and heeding the advice of trained and licensed physicians is one way of getting this done. If you’re in need of solid ideas for immune system-building this winter, let’s see what some of these doctors do to help themselves during winter.
In terms of her favorite winter rituals, Dr. Amy Shah, who specializes in integrative medicine, prefers calm, hot yoga sessions after a long day at work. “Sweating is such an ideal way to detox, and I find that I sweat so much less in the winter, even though I live in a warmer climate. I also love the positive effect on my stress, especially around the winter holidays. The twisting, inverting, sweating—it’s so refreshing as well as healing to the mind and body,” Shah said.
Exploring a Creative Side
According to Dr. Heather Moday, who is both an integrative immunologist as wells as a founder for the Moday Center for Functional and Integrative Medicine, winter is the time for working the artistic side of your brain. “Winter and the holiday season always get me into nesting mode. However, I’m not a pull-decorations-out-of-the-closet type. My ritual is making a homemade fresh wreath every year. For me, it’s a creative outlet to make something beautiful, and I love the fresh smell of the pine needles…It makes me feel good but also makes my house feel more like home.”
Matcha Chai Lattes
For Dr. Bindiya Gandhi, a specialist of integrative medicine, a favorite ritual of hers for winter is making some ayurveda teas with ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. “I love eating warmer foods—they help balance my [constitution], which usually goes out of whack during this time. I love matcha green tea, because of the large polyphenol and antioxidant content, which fight against free radicals, but also the spices to help relax and soothe the mind,” Gandhi said. She also uses these ingredients for homemade matcha chai lattes, the ingredients for which include the following:
- 1 scoop of matcha green tea
- Ginger, freshly grated
- 8 ounces of coconut milk
- A pinch of cinnamon
- A pinch of chai masala
- A pinch of cardamom
- 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey
Add everything but the Manuka honey into a saucepan and bring it up to boil. From there, let the mixture simmer and add the Manuka honey once when the latte has had time to cool down, which should better preserve any beneficial properties.
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Photo By Anna_Om