There’s something about winter that makes you just crave warm, hearty foods. It’s the season of soups and stews, potatoes and squash, roasts, and of course, deliciously spiced hot chocolates and teas. While this makes a lot of sense intuitively — after all, when it’s cold you want to be warm — it turns out that there’s more to this than you might think.

Our bodies are designed to change with the seasons.

Physically, your energy levels get lower and your body has a tendency to hold onto weight around this time of year. Your digestion changes, as well as your sleep patterns, if you’re not messing them up with lots of lights late at night. Mentally, it’s natural to find yourself feeling more introspective than normal, and less focused. Emotionally, it’s really common (and totally normal) to find yourself a little more likely to be sad, or just want some more quiet time to be by yourself.

It’s all part of how our bodies are supposed to change with the seasons — most of us have kind of forgotten that though, especially since our society actually ramps up around this time of year. As great as it would be if we were all able to live totally in sync with the seasons, that’s just not feasible for most people.

So what can you do? Eat!

One of the best things you can do to support your body this time of year is eat foods that are good for your winter-body. This gives your body the type of nutrition it needs to function at its best for this particular season, and helps you avoid all kinds of issues that can come up with eating out of season. (Think: pain from excessive coldness and dampness, slow digestion caused by raw foods hitting an already cold system, that kind of thing.)

So over the next couple of months, try to tailor your menu around winter-warming foods, like bone broth, root vegetables, greens, citrus fruits, beans, and nuts. When you’re flavoring food, go for things like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, which are all warming, as well as garlic, which is a powerful immune supporter.

Avoid things that are cold and damp, like salads, raw foods, mushrooms, and fish, as well as flavorings like mint. Limit your dairy too, especially if you’re prone to colds, since it encourages your body to produce extra mucus.

It’s all pretty intuitive … because that’s how our bodies work.

Your body is perfectly designed for health, from its amazing capacity for healing right through to the way it naturally changes with the seasons. Give it just a little bit of support, and it will more than return the favor.

And speaking of support — we’re in the season of stress and colds. If you’d like to keep firing on all cylinders as we go into the holiday season, I’d love to help you do that. Find out how I can support you here.