Winter warmers Woman sleeping in bed Kinga Cichewicz Unsplash

Winter warmers: tips and foods for your health, no matter the weather

In Diet, Nutrition and Recipes, Health and Nutrition by Laura Ford1 Comment

With the chill of winter it can be all too tempting to indulge in our favourite comfort foods and hit snooze on the morning workout alarm!

Dietitian Laura Ford shares her top tips and recipes for staying on track during winter and achieving your health goals.

Invest in your immune health

It’s important to keep your immunity at its best during winter. Shorter days and less sunshine means less vitamin D and more work for the body to fight off disease. Choosing healthy and balanced meals in the colder months will keep you on-track with your diet, and will also protect you from coughs and colds.

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially greens and vitamin C-rich foods, to keep your immunity firing this winter.

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You’ll get the greatest boost through citrus fruits, berries, kiwifruit, tomatoes, broccoli and capsicums. Integrate these foods simply by including seasonal fresh fruit into your breakfast or morning tea, making a big batch of vegetable soup to snack on throughout the week, and aiming to integrate a variety of veggies into your evening meals.

Take a look at this delicious slow roasted fennel and tomato recipe to ripen your tomato intake.

Add plenty of winter veggies to your diet

Fresh-grown vegetables may be synonymous with summer — but winter’s rich, hearty offerings can be every bit as satisfying. Here are a few creative ways to add variety, flavour, and flair with winter produce.

Cauliflower:

Rich in vitamin C, magnesium and fibre, cauliflower is delicious steamed or roasted with a light coating of spray oil and some garlic, thyme, and smoked paprika.

Carrots:

Naturally sweet and loaded with beta carotene, fibre, and antioxidants, carrots are easy to love. Roast some carrots with a light coating of oil and ground cumin as a delicious side.

Zucchini:

By simply preparing zucchini using a spiraliser tool, you have a delicious substitute for, or addition to, pasta.

Spinach and kale:

Spinach and kale are at their peak during the winter months, and both of these cruciferous greens are rich in iron, fibre, and Vitamins A and C… all essential for staying healthy during cold and flu season.

Up the ante even further by wilting some spinach or kale with spray oil and crushed garlic. Add roasted tomatoes and mushrooms and you’ve got a yummy accompaniment to a spinach frittata.

Try this warming, creamy cauliflower soup tonight, or this super quick and easy roasted carrot recipe.

Boost your mental wellbeing

Prioritise your winter health by taking care of your mental wellbeing. These colder months can put a freeze on our cheerfulness and motivation, especially if we neglect our diet and stay indoors.

By taking a mindful approach to your winter health you will nourish your mind as well as your body.

If you feel in need of an extra boost, berries are a great source of antioxidants and have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

This creamy choc strawberry recipe makes for a waistline-friendly tasty treat.

Bring your winter workouts indoors

You don’t even need to leave the house to workout – so don’t let the wind and rain be your excuse! With the wealth of videos and apps available online you can turn your living room into your own home gym. Moreover, most at-home workouts don’t even need equipment! Set 20 minutes aside in your day and work up a sweat without having to brave the outdoors.

Or why not keep your winter health accountable by signing up to a springtime fun-run, or even a half-marathon?! With this challenge in mind you can plan your training throughout the colder months – time flies when you’re chasing your goals.

Avoid summer weight loss fads

Ever had that realisation during winter that warmer weather is fast approaching, but you don’t feel in-shape? Forgot how to stay healthy in winter? We’ve all been there! Falling off the balanced diet bandwagon and quitting winter workouts is what can drive us to chase harmful summer weight loss fads – that end up causing far more harm than good.

That’s why maintaining a steady and healthy winter workout routine ensures you feel healthy and happy!

Craving a healthier sweet treat? Try this chai spied poached pear recipe, a great source of dietary fibre.

Take progress photos

It’s easy to deny our neglected winter workout regime with baggy sweaters and scarves. You don’t have to be the next Instagram influencer, but taking progress photos every week or two will help keep you on-track and aware of how your body is responding to your winter health journey.

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Comments

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    As well as eating lots of the root veggies from the garden over the winter, I’ve found collecting kindling & chopping wood for the fire is a great way to warm up over winter & feel more connected with the natural rhythms.

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