By Nmami Agarwal
During the cold months, your body needs to stay warm and it might use more energy in doing so. It is natural that your thoughts will no doubt turn to warming pies, stews, roasts, and other winter warming comfort food. There’s nothing wrong with indulging a little more in winter season, but how do you make sure you get all the nutrition your body needs to fight off colds and flu?
Here, we are sharing tips on how to get healthy and warm for cold winter’s day.
- Eat complex Carbs: The reason why you crave for carbohydrate-loaded comfort foods in winters is because your body requires serotonin. However be careful while choosing carbohydrates to enhance serotonin! To compensate depleting serotonin levels include nutritious whole grains like oats, barley, and quinoa in your daily diet. Avoid sugary snacks and eat good wintertime sources of carbohydrates for high-quality carbs such as sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and winter squashes.
- Eat healthy Fats: Do you know that your body needs the right kind of fats to help absorb important nutrients from food and staying warm? Add up monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and the right saturated fats in your diet this winter, but avoid hydrogenated and trans-fats that lurk in processed foods. Healthy fats are found in foods like olives, olive oil, almonds, avocados, salmon, walnuts, anchovies, flax seeds, hemp seeds, grass-fed butter, organic clarified butter, and unrefined coconut oil.
- Vitamin D to beat winter blues: Long periods of low sunlight also mean that more of the sleep hormone melatonin is produced. This makes you tired, sluggish and unmotivated. In order to keep this in check, you need natural sunlight in winters which provide vitamin D to body. Fish, eggs, avocado, and mushrooms are some foods that are rich in vitamin D other than sunlight. If vitamin D is very low in your body then you can take supplements after consulting respective doctors and nutritionists.
- Opt for seasonal produce: Try using regional and seasonal fruits and vegetables in winters, since valuable ingredients can be lost by prolonged transport and storage times. Foods rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-caroteneimproves immune system of the body, which is found in seasonal foods such as cabbage, carrots, broccoli, citrus fruit, sweet potato, and spinach. Increasing the zinc intake can help you fight off infections occur in winters. Food rich in zinc includes fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and unprocessed grains and cereals.
- Warm up from inside: Add hot foods and drinks with lots of spices in your list of foods for winters. You can use ginger, chili, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg in your meals, which not only jazz up the flavor of your food, but also prepare delicious teas.Consuming dry fruits (in limited quantities) also helps in generating heat inside the body. They also help in curing anemia and other vitamin deficiency related diseases.
Over to you:
Everyone feels like it’s harder to stay on track with healthy eating in winters. Hope the above mentioned tips will help you tackle nutrition struggle and staying warm this winter season.