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Healthy facts for winters

india Updated: Jan 22, 2007 19:24 IST
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Winter is the time for coughs, colds, fevers, exacerbation of sinus and many other ailments. It makes sense to understand the energies prevalent in winter and how the environment affects our bodies.

Winter is the time for the atmosphere to have kapha-predominant cold and moisture-rich energies. As a result of these energies, the effect is different for different body types. Kapha people feel lazy and depressed indoors, and get congestion and phlegm. Sometimes the sinuses get choked, and kapha people may come down with fever.

Vata people get irritable and feel the cold intensely. Their hands and feet get very cold and they prefer to wear thick woollens and stay indoors. Vata people can also get constipated in this season. Pitta people are the ones who really enjoy the winter. They relish eating in this season and tend to gain weight.

Some important tips to remain healthy in winter: Winter is the time one can actually enjoy the sun. The sun’s rays have therapeutic qualities: they are a natural antiseptic, and they affect our pineal gland which ultimately affects our mood and emotions. People who mostly stay indoors are more prone to mood swings. The sun’s rays, when they come into contact with the skin stimulate the body to manufacture its own vitamin D which is good for the bones.

In winter, staying physically active is very important. Being active or walking improves the blood circulation in the body. As a result, the body is able to successfully nourish the joints and also remove the build-up of toxins.

People of the kapha  variety should ensure they avoid kapha  foods in the winter and eat more foods which are warming in nature, like black pepper, ginger, carrot and garam masala. People of the vata  variety should keep themselves well hydrated and should have warm soups and broths. Consumption of some oil or butter is beneficial. People of the pitta variety should not go overboard eating.

In winter, many people close all the doors and windows. This leads to stale air, which is a breeding ground for all types of viruses. It is advisable to air the room at least once every day.

The writer is a weight management consultant.

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