Published in Full Circle Magazine:
Colds and Flu due to dehydration in Winter!
One should drink more or less the same amount of water all year round, even though it doesn’t feel like you’re sweating as much as you do during the Summer, your body still loses water simply by breathing, urinating and maintaining homeostatic balance, such as staying warm. The cold winter air is dry and dehydration leads to muscle fatigue and exhaustion and makes your body more susceptible to common colds and flu.
The mucous membranes in the body form a barrier to trap pathogens such as viruses and bacteria that enter the body and this membrane formation requires water.
Use a humidifier in your bedroom or office space during dry winter weather to protect your body from infection as a dry throat or dry skin is a sure sign of dehydration. Dry flaky winter skin can also be hydrated by taking a good quality Omega oil supplement.
A few good reasons to hydrate
Avoid headaches and improve concentration - Three quarters of the brain is water so if you’re dehydrated, you’ll get a headache. If your headache is caused by alcohol, then drinking lots of water will help flush out the toxins, a congested liver leads to fatigue.
Reduces infections - The lymphatic system is the body’s waste disposal, breaking down toxins and removing them from the body. Stay hydrated to keep the lymph flowing.
Get rid of those dark rings under your eyes – these may be caused by congestion in the liver and are a sure sign of dehydration.
Prevent muscle cramps - Drinking water keeps the blood saturated with oxygen, this is transported to the muscles, reducing lactic acid build up and cramping.
Thirst - Remember that by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already slightly dehydrated.
Monitor your urine - This should be light to clear. If you are taking supplements, expect your urine to darken in color for several hours after.
Warm drinks - Drink herbal infusion such as rooibos, chamomile, ginger, lemon or peppermint if you don’t enjoy drinking cold water in winter; Liquids in salad and vegetables, as well as soup or broth will also help hydrate you in winter.
Look after your liver - in winter it is constantly working to break down not only the by-products of eating and drinking, but air born pathogens that enter our body though breathing.
By eating fresh foods the large intestine is cleansed and any winter congestion is easily sloughed off. Raw fruit and vegetable juices are a fabulous way to replenish nutrient stores while keeping the body clean and light as they are packed full of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids.
Look after your liver in winter it is constantly working to break down not only the by-products of eating and drinking, but air born pathogens that enter our body though breathing.
Good Reasons to Juice in winter
When Juicing, detoxification occurs on a deep cellular level and takes place via the tissues of the liver, colon, lungs, kidneys, bladder, sinuses and skin.
When cleansing, these systems of elimination are activated, enabling the body to flush out toxins, thus facilitating the natural regeneration and healing process.
Some useful guidelines:
· Organic fruit and vegetables are packed with trace-minerals, vitamins, cancer fighting phyto-chemicals and amino-acids. Moreover, they will not compromise the cleansing process by exposing you to any further chemical toxins.
· Wash all produce thoroughly and use a scrub brush where necessary
· Use the whole food, stems, leaves and pips, except citrus peels, carrots tops, pits from stone fruits and apple seeds. Do not juice rhubarb greens.
· Cut fruit and vegetables into chunks so it is easier to blend
· Freeze peeled bananas and use them as needed
· Any organic seasonal vegetable is great, but green vegetables in particular are packed with cancer-fighting nutrients. Green vegetables in general are good cleansers as chlorophyll contents help purify the blood of pollutants.
· Bitter tasting vegetables are good liver cleaners.
· Avoid potatoes if they are even slightly green or beginning to sprout as the chemical solamine can cause acute digestive disturbances.
· Use filtered water to dilute juice if required.
· Always make the juice fresh. (Invest in a juicer and blender -it’s worth it.) Do not store the juice to drink later, as you will loose precious nutrients by doing so.
Good for juicing:
· Beet root – strengthen liver and gallbladder, blood building
· Carrot – liver cleanser and balances the digestive system
· Cabbage – balances the digestive system; ulcers, heartburn
· Celery – diuretic, adrenal support and carbon dioxide elimination,
· Cucumber -diuretic, blood cleanser, strengthens stomach and spleen
· Spinach – rich in minerals – blood tonic, strengthens small and esp.
· Lemon – alkalinizing blood cleanser
· Apple – digestive aid, strengthens gallbladder and reduces
· Cranberry – bladder cleanser, high in vit C
· Paw Paw – anti-inflammatory, digestive aid, contains cymopapain
which helps reduce muscular aches and pains
· Dandelion – liver and kidney tonic, promoting excretion of bile
· Parsley – diuretic, promotes adrenal/thyroid function, digestive aid
Example of a simple cleansing juice:
Raw carrot, beetroot and ginger juice have a wonderful detoxifying effect on the whole body.
2 large carrots
Some fresh ginger
Spend time out-doors, frolic in the fresh air stay and stay hydrated!
Eva Mihal N.D.
Dip.nat. Medicine UK/SA
(AHPCSA Reg no A6445)
Naturopathy & Wellness Centre
021 782 9051