Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which is a precursor to serotonin, so it acts as a mood regulator. Tryptophan is able to balance hormones as well as provides a calming effect, can help to induce sleep and improve sleep quality, reduces headaches and migraines, and boosts feelings of overall wellbeing. It also helps regulate immune response, which is crucial during these cooler months.
Some tryptophan foods are eggs, turkey, fish, nuts and seeds (particularly sesame seeds and walnuts), beef, lamb, beans and legumes, and bananas, however in some instances supplementation may be required to therapeutically boost your levels.
Use bone broth in your cooking
Bone broth is a healing food which has so many benefits for the body, and the good thing is that it’s so easy to add to winter meals such as hearty soups and slow cooked casseroles.
Nutrient-dense bone broth has numerous health benefits such as being able to help restore the gut lining, reduces inflammation, improves joint health, aids digestion, boosts the immune system, and maintains healthy skin.
Studies have shown a combination of animal bones and vegetables, simmered for at least 6 hours but up to 48 hours, is most beneficial. It’s best if grass-fed organic bones are used so that they are free of antibiotics and hormones for the most healing benefit.
Add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your broth when cooking so that it helps draw out and release the healing nutrients from the bones such as collagen, glycine, glutamine, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and silicon.
Use a few tablespoons of the prepared broth into all your cooking preparation; rice, pasta, pasta sauce, soups, slow cooking, casseroles, stews. You may wish to freeze portions of broth for adding to meal preparation.
Focus on restoring a healthy you
Winter is a wonderful time to ensure your body is getting all that it needs for optimum health. Some good feeling self-care such as trying an infrared sauna or getting a massage are good ways to look after you in these cosy months. Infrared saunas warm your body directly to penetrate deeper into body tissues, whereas traditional saunas warm the air around you. Saunas aid detoxification, improve inflammation, improve circulation, boost immune function, assist with weight loss, encourages relaxation, and helps improve mental health. So many great reasons to hop in a warm sauna when it’s cold and wintery outside.
Although the temptation is there to just stay indoors and hibernate, social connection is important for our health and happiness. There are so many benefits to regular social engagement, such as promoting a better mood, improving memory and cognitive function, and boosting the immune system.
See your naturopath
If you’re looking to decrease stress and rebalance your body, or if you’re struggling with the winter blues, then book an appointment time with your naturopath who can assist with balancing mood naturally, and can provide a nutritional prescription to boost your happy hormones and encourage optimum immune health.
Yvette is a qualified Melbourne-based Naturopath and Nutritionist, MINDD Practitioner, member of the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia, and Complementary Medicine Association. Yvette specialises in the treatment of conditions commonly affecting women and children, with a key interest in children’s digestive and neurological conditions, as well as women’s hormonal concerns, digestive issues, fatigue, anxiety, and skin concerns. Yvette consults in South Yarra, Melbourne, as well as Australia-wide via skype/zoom/phone.