With the weather getting colder, winter illnesses begin to take over ‘ but being conscious of the food you’re consuming can help avoid these. Our eating habits also change during winter, so it’s important your body still receives the nutrition it needs.
Sunlight is the richest source of vitamin D, but making sure your body gets enough vitamin D can be challenging during winter due the shorter days. Try eating more oily fish, mushrooms, buttermilk, yoghurt and fortified products as these are the best dietary sources, or consider a good quality supplement.
Viruses can be particularly prolific in winter months, and whilst vitamin C can’t cure the common cold, it is one of the body’s natural antioxidants and helps the immune system, so make sure you include lots of vitamin C rich food in your daily diet. The richest sources include red peppers, kale kiwi, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, oranges, tomatoes, peas, mangetout, papaya, mango and pineapple.
Root vegetables are also packed with vitamin C. They’re great for flavor and contain additional nutrients such as beta carotene, magnesium, iron, potassium and vitamin B6, making them an essential ingredient in winter to help keep the body healthy and ready to fight winter viruses. Use them in soups or roast the with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper for a seasonal upgrade to a salad.
Consuming fresh fruits can be difficult in winter as they tend to be more expensive and don’t stay fresh for as long. Frozen fruits are a great option for winter as they are cheaper and last a lot longer then fresh fruit. Top your porridge with them in a morning or use them in a crumble for dessert.
If you’re a big carb craver during the winter, try sampling some different grains to get a greater range of nutrients into your diet. Try lentil or buckwheat pastas, quinoa dishes, spelt risotto or rye and spelt breads.
Keep your digestive system healthy with lots of probiotic foods; plain yoghurt, goat’s cheese, pickles, fermented foods, tofu, miso; and probiotic foods such as bananas, onions, leeks, pulses, root vegetables, whole grains and oats.
To find out more about your allergies and intolerances and how you can adapt your diet and lifestyle to reduce symptoms, visit http://www.lifelabtesting.com?. Choose from a range of allergy and intolerance test kits that can be completed at home, with results available online within 5-7 days and access to Lifelab Testing’s in-house nutritionist available.