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Winter Wellness in Four Easy Steps
Part One

© 2023 Susun Weed


Welcome to winter, the season most associated with getting sick.
Specialized immune cells — like T cells and macrophages — are made as needed by the immune system. Richly supply your immune system with nutrients, and it easily builds dozens of unique infection-countering cells that are active against viruses, microbes, bacteria, and any other unwanted visitors. Starve your immune system and it will falter, leaving your tissues open to infection and disease. That’s easy.
Here are four simple steps to nourish immunity all winter, all year. Enjoy.
1.    Nourish Immunity with Cold
2.    Nourish Immunity with Food
3.    Nourish Immunity with Herbs
4.    Nourish Immunity with Gratitude and Lifestyle
1.    Nourish Immunity with Cold
Most people bundle up at the first breath of cold. We live and work in heated spaces where the air is dry. This leads to dry respiratory passages, setting the stage for viruses and bacteria to proliferate and make us sick. Making the air moister is an obvious solution. Cook a big pot of soup with the lid ajar. Increasing brown fat is another solution.
Brown fat is much more metabolically active than white fat. It is brown because it is exceptionally rich in mitochondria. When brown fat eats sugar and fat molecules, you feel warm. This inner warmth allows you to turn the heat down, which allows the air to retain more moisture. It also increases the likelihood that you will enjoy being outside, where the air is usually moister.
Cold temperatures activate brown fat. I dislike cold showers and polar bear swims, even a cold plunge after a sauna causes me to have painful muscle spasms. But I am happy to walk outside barefoot whenever temperatures are 40 or above, usually uncoated, always unhatted.
Just 2 hours of exposure a day for 10 consecutive days in mild-cold conditions: 55-66°F (15-19°C) activates brown fat.
Of course brown fat interacts with the immune system. Read more about fat cells and the immune system: Interplay between the immune system and adipose tissue in obesity; Journal of Endocrinology
Perhaps getting cold sounds too extreme for you. Understood.
Here are some herbs/foods/helpers that promote the activation of brown fat: Turmeric, green tea, fish oil, grape seeds, yellow dock root (berberine), and cinnamon.
Next week: Immune Nourishing Foods


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