Winter Nutrition Guide-Good eating habits
Good eating habits-
Winter is upon us and it is time to bring out the wooly clothes and look after ourselves. We are all aware of how easily our immune systems can take a beating in this weather and it is essential that we all maintain a healthy diet with and normal portion sizes to keep ourselves in the best of health. There are plenty of measures to take to make sure we are in tip top shape for the holiday season. Here are a few tips and some advice on healthy foods to eat to help you feel better this winter. Take a look!
Winter temperatures have already hit a drop and we are definitely starting to feel a bitter nip in the air. With this in mind your body will start to feel cold and begin craving a higher carbohydrate intake to keep itself in tiptop shape. As sunshine levels deplete, we are no longer exposed to these rays and our serotonin levels, or feel good levels can drop thus we crave even more carbs. Be smart about what you eat and choose what carbohydrates you consume carefully. Pick wholegrain breads, rice and pastas over normal white variants for added nutritional value. Make the most of the winter season too by eating seasonal carbohydrate filled products such as pumpkins and sweet potatoes, what’s even better is that these are jam packed with vitamins too. Win win!
We are all aware of the many health benefits of oily fish such as salmon and mackerel. Of course we know about omega 3 fatty acids but there are more health benefits than that from this seafood choice that are especially important when it comes to the winter months. All seafood is a great source of selenium, this is a potent antioxidant. Those who intake a significant amount of selenium have a stronger immune system and improved white blood cells which are vital this time of the year when colds and flus are spread around schools and workplaces. Nuts are a great source of protein and should be consumed in wintertime they also have a high level of vitamin E which will help prevent colds also.
On a cold winter’s day there is sometimes nothing more satisfying than a warm cup of tea. Unfortunately, although this won’t do you any harm, it isn’t the most nutritious either. We recommend you replace your regular black tea with a cup of green tea. Green tea contains far fewer catechins and other components of green tea are said to be virus fighters that boost your immune system. You can also buy green tea that contains Echinacea in most supermarkets. Echinacea is a daisy like plant that also prevents colds and infections by stimulating the immune system. It is definitely worth replacing your traditional cup of tea with for these super health benefits.
V for Vitamins
Our main source of vitamin D is sunlight and we are obviously not going to get much of that in winter months. You can find it vitamin D in foods so it is a good idea to use these as a supplement. Fortified dairy products, eggs and oily fish are sure to up your vitamin D levels. Make sure to get plenty of vitamin C in winter months also, it is a great antioxidant that boosts your immune system. It also helps with the absorption of iron, an obvious benefit. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, as well as berries and tomatoes so try to incorporate these into your daily diet.
S for Sports
We have all heard that doing sports will bring up our energy levels and make us happier in all aspects. That is why if you add to all this exercise, we promise it will be almost impossible to get a cold, as your immune system will strengthen even more. This means that you should not be stuck at home all the time. Make use of the cold months to do sports that you cannot usually practice like ice-skating, skiing and even snowboarding (if you have the right conditions). Although it would be hard to get out of the warm bed, the effort of getting active is surely worth it, especially because we are all more prone to put on some extra kilos during the winter months. Even if, you do it once a week you will notice the difference in your mental and physical health.
Winter is the time of year that we have to be careful of over eating. Both adults and children alike have a tendency to overeat, opting for high fat and high calorie foods when the colder weather arrives. This has a negative effect on our bodies and immune system, which isn’t good in the winter months. Try to consume healthy monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated fats for a healthier, balanced diet.
The most important thing is to look after yourself this winter. So don’t use as an excuse the weather for feeling down or unhealthy. It all comes to your motivation and control. Additionally, by managing and maintaining a healthy diet you will keep yourself in the best of shape avoiding any unwanted winter bugs. Follow these advices and you will be surely prepared! However, if you are not that much of a sports person, we suggest you wrap up and eat well!