Stay Well This Winter
by Natalie Von Bertouch
- Palmer's Brand Partner
- Accredited Practicing Dietitian
- Leadership & Wellness Guest Speaker
- Former Australian Netball Captain
In case the cooler temps, fewer daylight hours and added hours stuck inside weren’t evidence enough: winter is officially coming. Which means it’s time to bid farewell to fresh summer salads and welcome back nourishing, hearty staples. But before you go reaching for the comfort food (looking at you, lasagna), know this: a balanced diet is key for fending off those nasty bugs that cause cold and flu (and preventing the dreaded kilo creep.)
So how do we give our bodies the best chance of staying well this winter?!
Including plenty of immune boosting foods is vital. That means, loading up on fruits and vegetables that are packed with Vitamin C and zinc, while also enjoying protein-rich foods such as beans, nuts and wholegrain cereals (e.g. brown rice and breads.) Limiting your intake of processed goods that are high in saturated fat, salt or sugar is also important.
What foods contain vitamin C, zinc and protein?
Foods high in vitamin C include kiwi fruit, capsicum, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes and kale. Seafood, beef, lamb, dark leafy greens vegetables and pumpkin seeds are great sources of zinc. And protein can be found in lean meats, chicken, fish, dairy, lentils and eggs.
Where does exercise come into it?
While nutrition plays a major role in keeping you fit and healthy, so too does exercise. It’s essential to move your body daily – especially when the bad weather ramps up. My advice? Find yourself a workout buddy. This will help you stay accountable when staying in bed seems all too tempting!
10 winter health hacks
- Grab a piece of vitamin C rich fruit for a mid-morning snack – orange, kiwi fruit and strawberries are great options.
- Herbal teas are delicious and can help curb sweet after dinner cravings.
- Nourishing soups are a must. Cook up a big batch on the weekend and freeze leftovers for healthy and delicious mid-week lunch options.
- Set a regular time to meet a friend to exercise. Choose an activity that works for you both – be it walking, jogging or body weight training.
- Stir-fried Asian greens are a great dinner side in place of a salad. Green leafy veggies are high in immune boosting zinc.
- Keep treat foods out of sight. You are much less likely to give into cravings when you have to drive to the shops to buy chocolate, chips or biscuits.
- Drink plenty of water. Eight glasses of water a day is a great guideline to stick to (try having it hot with a slice of lemon!)
- Cook with turmeric. Turmeric is a wonderful warming spice that can be used in meals or added to tea to help support immune function.
- Opt for protein rich foods such as chicken, red meat, seafood, beans, lentils and reduced fat dairy.
- Start your day off right with porridge topped with pumpkin seeds for some added zinc. The fibre will fill you up and keep mid-morning cravings at bay.