A healthy winter diet is essential to stay well in the cold season. It’s important to eat a variety of foods to boost your health in winter and ensure you are getting all the essential nutrients your body needs.
You may have noticed that the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer as we head into winter. Every season comes with its own challenges and this season can be particularly tough on our immune systems.
Winter is a time for comfort, warmth, and cuddling up with loved ones – but this combination of factors does not always equate to good health.
That means it’s time for a healthy winter diet to survive those long, dark evenings without gaining weight!
It is important to keep your immune system strong during winter, especially if you work or study with other people. Many of us will be spending more time indoors in crowded, warm spaces where germs proliferate at an increased rate.
What we eat can affect everything from our energy levels to how well we sleep. So, don’t let the winter blues get you down this year – check out these simple tips on healthy eating when it’s cold outside!
Table of Contents
What Are the Best Foods for a Healthy Winter Diet?
Following is a list of the best foods you should eat to stay healthy this winter:
1. Start your day with porridge
Creamy porridge with natural yogurt, stewed fruit, and nuts is the perfect winter breakfast. Add cinnamon to trigger your brain into feeling full so you’ll eat less during the day. It’s also great for getting fiber, zinc, energy-boosting iron, potassium, and antioxidants!
2. Add fish to your diet
Salmon is full of protein and healthy fats. It’s also a great source of Vitamin D, which boosts the body’s ability to absorb calcium for strong bones and teeth. Fish can provide many benefits, such as increased energy and mental focus.
Fish provides omega-3 fatty acids which can lower bad cholesterol and improve circulation. It’s also an excellent source of Vitamin D, which plays an important role in your body.
3. Eat more seeds and nuts
Walnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and hemp hearts are all high in omega-3s – essential fats that boost heart health and protect the body against inflammation, which is linked to many chronic diseases. They’re also a good source of magnesium, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium—an essential mineral that many of us are lacking. They also contain tons of protein! Nuts and seeds provide Fiber, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin E, Calcium, and Magnesium all great for your heart health
4. Protein from pulses
Dried beans, peas, and lentils are some of the best sources of plant-based protein around! They’re full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals – plus they soak up flavors so they taste great in curries and soups.
5. Salads and healthy snacks
Eating a rainbow of fruit and veg will help protect your body against illness, reduce inflammation, boost energy levels, regulate digestion, and keep blood sugar stable. Have a big salad every lunchtime with breadsticks or rice crackers for extra fiber. Add seeds, nuts, beans, and cheese for protein.
6. Choose fruits and veggies rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C fights against inflammation, supports the immune system, and protects your cells from damage. Some of the best sources are kiwis, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, lemons, and papaya.
7. Look for sources of zinc, like spinach
Zinc can be found in many types of food, but spinach is a particularly good source. It can boost testosterone levels and sperm health, which is perfect for men trying to conceive.
Spinach is full of Fiber, Zinc, and Vitamins C and A. This powerhouse veggie can protect against cancer, reduce inflammation, improve eye health, aid digestion, and boost immunity!
Other good sources are almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, oysters, beefsteak, and chicken breast. Moreover, lobsters are also an excellent source of Zinc and other nutrients. A 100-gram portion of lobster contains only 72 mg of cholesterol, 98 calories, and 0.1 grams of saturated fat. Plus, it also contains phosphorus, magnesium, omega-3, and vitamins B12 and E!
8. Make use of herbs
When the winter months set in, it’s time to snuggle up with some warming soups and hearty dishes. Try adding turmeric, garlic, chili peppers, and other hot herbs to your meals. They all have anti-inflammatory properties which can help fend off colds and the flu.
9. Soups and stews
Winter is the perfect time for classic comfort foods like chicken noodle soup and herbed stews. Chicken soup contains tryptophan, which elevates mood and helps you relax – add a handful of spinach for extra nutrients.
Ginger is good for nausea relief, reducing inflammation, and improving circulation! Plus, it can help fight the common cold and flu, which is always a plus during the winter.
How Much Should I Be Eating in Winter?
To stay healthy in the colder months, aim for around 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 calories a day for men. This is the same as your recommended daily calorie intake, but you need to increase it slightly to keep warm!
The best way to protect your immune system is to eat well. Eating a diverse diet that includes nutrient-rich foods will help keep you healthy and strong this winter. Some of these include fish, spinach, pumpkin seeds, nuts/seeds (especially almonds), avocado, basil, ginger, cinnamon.
If you’re looking for more ideas about how to stay healthy during the colder months or want some advice on what types of food would be beneficial for specific health conditions consider booking an appointment with a Nutritionist in Lahore through oladoc.