Eating during the wintertime seems like something that everybody struggles with from time to time. Whether it's due to the weather changes, or the changes that occur to our everyday schedules during this time. Winter just seems to always throw a wrench in our eating plans. Not to mention all of the illnesses that also come during this time. Here are some tips on how we can keep our diets on track this winter, as well as ways we can help boost our immune system with our diet.
Eat Plenty of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
This is something that we should try and incorporate into our diets at any time of the year, but it comes with even more important in these winter months. The reason being for this is that fruits and vegetables help provide you with a lot of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. All of those nutrients will help strengthen your immune system and will help to defend against those unwanted illnesses that come with this time of year.
Try and Choose Seasonal Products
Choosing seasonal products will help ensure that you are buying products that are the freshest and taste the best during this time. Some vegetables that are seasonal during this time are pumpkin and any root vegetables. Fruits that are seasonal and available this time of year include apples, pears, pomegranates, and grapes. When choosing any fruits and vegetables that are not on this list, it can sometimes be better to buy them frozen. Buying them frozen can help ensure the freshness of that product as well as help preserve some of the micronutrients since they are frozen shortly after harvest.
Go for Onions and Garlic
I know these are probably one of the last things you expected to see on this list. Surprisingly, onions and garlic can help protect against pathogens. Ideally, any vegetables that can cause you to tear up (such as onions) are great at fighting off those unwanted pathogens…and who knows maybe unwanted people if you’re lucky. These vegetables are easy to find year-round and they have ingredients that have an antibacterial and disinfecting effect.
Eat Red Fruits
Fruits are always good to eat at any point to help boost your immune system. In particular, red fruits can be beneficial for us in a few different ways. Red fruits provide an antioxidant effect that helps protect you from free radicals that easily come in and cause damage to your body during these cold winter months. Pomegranates and berries are some of the best at helping with this, but can, unfortunately, be difficult to find this time of year. So going for the frozen varieties of these this time of year is going to be your best option.
Get More Vitamin D
Vitamin D is something that we tend to neglect during the winter months because we tend to spend a lot more time inside. However, this is something that our bodies need to help with our energy levels and we must provide it through another form that isn’t sunlight. Foods such as fish, eggs, avocados, and mushrooms are all great sources of Vitamin D.
Eat More Nuts to Stay Awake
This is another one of those foods that we normally tend to find within a well-rounded diet, but they might be providing you with more benefits than you realized. Since our time in the sunlight is minimized during the wintertime this means that our bodies produce more of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Hence why you always seem to be more tired when the weather is colder. Having an increase in this hormone tends to leave us feeling tired, sluggish, and usually very unmotivated. In order to help offset this increase in melatonin, we need to consume foods that contain serotonin. We can find this in all kinds of nuts such as peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds. By adding more of these into your diet in the winter, you should see an increase in your energy levels as well.
Warm-Up From the Inside
If you’re anything like me, then it sometimes seems almost impossible to warm up when it gets to those frigid temperatures outside. However, this can be easy to fix, simply by the foods that we put in our bodies. One of the things we should eat more of when it’s cold outside is hot foods and drinks. Consuming these warm foods and drinks will help warm your muscles and organs internally. This in turn, will help stimulate both your metabolism and increase your blood flow. Adding different spices to your foods can also help have that effect on the body.
As you can see, there are several different ways that we can make changes to our diets in the wintertime that will help benefit us in many ways. Most of us tend to have our go-to's in the wintertime, but sometimes throwing something a little bit different in the routine can help to change it up and might allow us to fix something that we weren’t able to fix before.
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