6 Health Benefits of Cold Weather

Though they may be uncomfortable at times, freezing winters benefit and preserve our health in more ways than one. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Though they may be uncomfortable at times, freezing winters benefit and preserve our health in more ways than one. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Brrr, it’s cold out there! But some evidence suggests that all our winter shivering is good for us. Perhaps it’s partly why Minnesota has the second-highest life expectancy of any U.S. state (we’re on to you, Hawaii). Here are six more health benefits of cold weather (via The Huffington Post):

  1. Cold weather burns more calories. Recent research has shown that simply being cold burns more calories, as your body workers harder to maintain its temperature. It may also trigger “brown fat” in the body, a good fat that can burn off other “white” fat.
  2. It brings us closer together. During periods of weather-induced isolation, you are more likely to reach out to your family and friends on the phone, and tend to chat with them for longer than usual, reducing stress and promoting happiness.
  3. It’s less favorable for disease-carrying bugs. Mosquitoes and ticks have a much harder time surviving in winter, drastically reducing your risk of contracting diseases they can carry, like West Nile virus and Lyme disease.Continue Reading …
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7 Foods to Banish Winter Blues

Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, eating walnuts can help reduce feelings of sadness, pessimism and anxiety. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, eating walnuts can help reduce feelings of sadness, pessimism and anxiety. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Less sunlight got you feeling down? Try adding these foods to your diet for a wintertime pick-me-up (via Care2.com):

  1. Dark chocolate. It’s good for your mood– in moderation, of course. That’s because dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, the same feel-good endorphin that’s released when you fall in love.
  2. Rosemary. This aromatic herb has been shown to make you feel more content and increase awareness – it’s also chock full of essential vitamins. Try adding some to a chicken, pasta or rice dishes, or taking it as a daily supplement.Continue Reading …
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5 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Winter Sun Damage

In winter, UV rays are even more dangerous, as they bounce off snow to hit your skin a second time. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Sunscreen isn’t just for summer days at the beach. Here in Minnesota, sun protection is even more important in the winter, when the sun’s UV rays bounce off snow to hit your skin a second time. Here are five ways to protect your skin this winter (via The Huffington Post):

  1. Use physical sunblock. It might be messy, but sunblock with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide offers the best protection in comparison to chemical-based sunscreens, which are usually either UVB or UVA blockers. It also requires less frequent application, and is less irritating to your skin.Continue Reading …
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5 Fantastic Winter Vegetables

Just one cup of red cabbage contains as much potassium as one banana and three grams of filling fiber. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

While many people think of fresh veggies mixed up in summer salads, some seasonal produce hits its peak in the winter months. Here are five healthy and delicious winter vegetables to look for next time you head to the grocery store (via Care2.com):

  1. Red cabbage. Known around the world for its ability to add flavor to soups, stews and salads, cabbage is also a nutritional powerhouse. Just one cup contains as much potassium as one banana, almost three grams of fiber and a substantial amount of calcium.Continue Reading …
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