As we continue into the cooler months, this is the perfect time to make your health a priority. This should include regular physical activity and taking some time out to recharge your mental health. It also needs to include eating a balanced diet. There are plenty of fresh fruit and veggies on the shelves at the moment, so it will be easy! Without keeping you waiting any longer, here’s how to stay healthy in winter.
Eat plenty of seasonal vegetables
Our favourite winter vegetables are here! They are great for your overall health, your gut and they’re at the height of their freshness so they taste amazing. Seasonal produce can also be more budget-friendly, and are just one of the easy ways you can stay healthy on a budget.
When it comes to how to stay healthy in winter, some of my favourites include beetroot, cruciferous vegetables, carrots and onions. Beetroot and carrots contain antioxidants, which can help keep the cells healthy and reduce risk of disease. Turnips and other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are high in a compound called glucosinolates. These have been shown to help reduce your risk of cancer. Lastly, onions are high in prebiotics. They help to maintain your gut health throughout the cooler winter months, supporting immune function.
Keep your immune system in check
There are some great immune-supporting nutrients you should keep in mind as you plan your meals throughout the winter months. These include vitamin C, iron, zinc, prebiotics and probiotics.
Fruits and vegetables, such as capsicum, broccoli, spinach and tomatoes are high in vitamin C. To get the most vitamin C from these foods, eat them raw where you can. This is because vitamin C is destroyed by heat.
Some foods that are high in iron include red meat, fish, eggs, legumes, leafy green veggies, nuts and seeds. Zinc is also great for the immune system and helps to fight off the common cold. Zinc can be found in meat, legumes, nuts, seeds and dairy products.
To read more about where you can get your daily dose of prebiotics and probiotics, read my article introducing you to the gut microbiome.
Maintain a balanced diet
The best thing to thin about when considering how to stay healthy in winter is to make sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet. This should include fruit, veggies, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, lean meat, dairy and plenty of water.
Each meal and snack should have a source of lean protein, plenty of colour, some wholegrains and some healthy fats. The exact ratios will differ from person to person, but a great starting point is ¼ plate protein, ¼ plate wholegrains, ½ plate colourful foods and a small amount of healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, extra-virgin olive oil or avocado.
Fruits and veggies are full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre to keep us healthy from the inside out. Fibre also helps to keep our gut health in check. Vitamins, such as vitamin A and C, are great for immune function, and we recommend consuming a wide variety of different plant foods for the best health benefits. Remember, the bigger the variety of plant foods you’re eating, the more nutrients you’re getting!
Eating a variety of nutritious foods helps to ensure you’re meeting all of your nutrient requirements. This helps to look after our bodies, keeping us in good health throughout the cooler months and beyond. For more ideas on how to pack the right nutrients in the right way, follow me on Pinterest so you can easily save all the information you need!