In winter the days are shorter, the weather is often gloomy, the holidays seem far off… There are lots of factors which push us to seek comfort in other things, and sometimes this means our diet goes off track, which leads to us gaining a few pounds we’ll need to shed before spring comes round again!
But it’s also possible to avoid getting ill, putting on weight and feeling the cold, and instead to retain a positive outlook and to take pleasure from and even enjoy this season! Here are 7 top nutrition tips to follow to help you have a healthy winter!
Fill up with fruits rich in vitamin C
And how convenient, it’s the season for them! Oranges, clementines, mandarins, lemons, kiwis – whichever you choose, and whether it’s to munch or to drink as juice, just enjoy!
With juices, of course, you should make them yourself and drink them just after you’ve squeezed the fruits; otherwise some of the vitamin content will be lost.
Juicing allows you to easily get up to four portions of fruit a day. You can also add some exotic fruits like mango, pineapple and passion fruit. It’s delicious, it boosts your mood and it also brings you a little bit of sunshine!
These fruits will give you your daily dose of vitamin C, so you will avoid the colds and bouts of tiredness that are so common in winter.
Eat fish, especially oily fish to get your dose of vitamin D
We sometimes call
vitamin D, « the sunshine vitamin » because it is the sun that allows us to produce it. It is the action of ultraviolet B rays (UVBs) hitting our bare skin that triggers the production of vitamin D. This is why we may find ourselves lacking in this nutrient in winter! Generally our diet provides us with no more than a third of our vitamin D requirements. But this small contribution is even more vital to maintain during the winter!
So, we encourage you to eat
cooked salmon, pickled herring, cooked mackerel, sardines in oil, and even oysters ! For those who like it, cod liver and its oil are extremely rich in vitamin D. We suggest that you eat these sorts of food 4 times a week minimum.
If you don’t like these foods, it may be necessary to take a course of vitamin D supplements. You can speak to your doctor or pharmacist about this.
Indulge in seasonal vegetables to meet your fibre, vitamin and mineral requirements
Nature has done a good job: winter vegetables are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, which are just what the body needs this season!
Here’s what you’ll find on the shelves at this time of year:
- Root vegetables : From the more traditional orange carrot and its ancient yellow, purple and white cousins to the purple or golden ball turnip and beetroots of all shapes and sizes, to less widely known vegetables like the parsnip, the rutabaga and the Jerusalem artichoke…
- Cabbages in all shapes, sizes and colours!
- Not forgetting musky
gourds, bbutternut squash and other red squashes and pumpkins!
All these delicious vegetables can be cooked to use in soups, veloutés and stir-fries, or braised or steamed. But some of them can also be used to make
We advise you to eat some of these vegetables with every meal: eating
a minimum of two types per meal will give you the vitamins, minerals and fibre you need!
A top tip is to eat fresh products: no tinned foods, no ready meals, no frozen foods! Buying good quality, fresh products does not take any more time and it’s better for you, your family, the producers and the planet! But you probably know this already! Not to mention how nice it can be to prepare a good meal for your loved ones and enjoy a moment to relax and disconnect from reality at the same time!
Get the fibre and minerals you need with whole grains
Whole grains are great friends to the intestinal system and the heart. Along with dried vegetables, they are mainly known for their fibre content, but they also contain a significant amount of minerals, especially zinc.
Whole grain can be found in everyday foods such as bread, rice, wheat and quinoa. But make sure that you choose only those marked as wholegrain and don’t confuse them with those containing refined grains.
As well as being rich in fibre and minerals, foods rich in whole grain leave you feeling full for longer. When it’s cold and therefore important to expend energy, especially to maintain a correct body temperature, these foods, which are rich in carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index, are of even greater importance.
We recommend that you eat these sorts of food 3 to 4 times a week.
See to your vegetable protein needs by eating dried vegetables (legumes)
Dried vegetables are important because they contain a large quantity of vegetable proteins, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and a low quantity of fat.
As vegetable proteins (except soya) are often low in amino acids, it is vital to eat them alongside grains and legumes in order to ensure that all the essential amino acids can join together.
In fact, a lack of just one amino acid can be enough to compromise protein use altogether.
Legumes, like beans, peas and lentils, are rich in lysine, an amino acid which cannot be found in grains, which themselves contain methionine. So by consuming both, we can get all the vital amino acids.
We recommend that you eat these sorts of food 3 to 4 times a week.
Keep hydrated in order to fight against the cold
We often remember to keep hydrated in the summer when it’s hot, but less so when the temperature starts to drop. In winter however, people quite often suffer from dehydration, especially children and the elderly. The dry cold is a principal cause of this, but heating in the home and at work can have the same effect.
In order for the body to function as it should, hydration is vital. Our bodies are 65% water, and the water content varies with the different organs. The blood is 83% water; fatty tissue is 10% water. The brain is 70% water, as are the muscles. Water is therefore essential to maintaining our physiological functions, and all the more so given that we are constantly getting rid of it! We start to feel thirsty when we have lost just 1% of our body’s water, and this has an immediate effect on our intellectual and physical performance!
So, we advise you to drink
juices, soups and stocks but also, of course, tea! However, limit your coffee and alcohol consumption!
Use winter as an opportunity to start a detox regime – why not make it a tea-based detox?
So what exactly is a detox regime? It involves getting rid of the toxins contained in the body, whilst giving the body a break at the same time.
The origins of detox regimes lie in the principles of naturopathy. Indeed, a detox gets rid of all that is toxic in the body, and does so in a natural way.
It both helps and stimulates the organs that deal with waste disposal, like the pores, the liver, the intestines and the kidneys, in order to get rid of the toxins found in the body.
tea-based detox is a type of detox which works on a long-term basis and does not have a harsh effect on the body. It’s a gentle regime and one that is extremely beneficial to the body. It originates from traditional Chinese medicine.
It uses lots of different parts of plants such as the leaves, wood, bark, seeds and roots. These plants are chosen according to different classifications that have been drawn up over centuries by professors of Chinese medicine.
To get the best results, we recommend that you follow a tea detox regime for a minimum of 4 weeks or, better still, 8 weeks:
Detox tea 4 or 8 weeks.
A tea-based detox is one of the best things you can do for your body. Not only is it a natural way of getting rid of toxins found in the body, but it also promotes wellbeing and vitality and helps you to stay in shape!