With fewer fresh foods available in the winter, it can be hard to stick to your diet. While there is nothing wrong with indulging during the colder months, it is important to make sure your body is getting what it needs to fight off a cold or the flu. Exercising and a good nights sleep are equally important, but getting the right nutrition will help boost your immune system and fight off winter germs. Making sure the following foods are worked into your diet will help keep you healthy this winter.
Fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C will help boost your immune system. Sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers, and citrus fruits all contain vitamin C and will help increase your energy levels. Citrus fruits are at their ripest in the winter and are in abundance at your local grocery store this time of year.
Increasing your iron intake will keep you healthier during the long winter months. Eating more red meat, lentils, and leafy green vegetables will help support a healthy immune system, but iron intake can also be increased by taking a natural iron supplement. If you are a vegan, lower iron counts are sometimes an issue, so turning to a supplement may be necessary.
Fish, Eggs, and Cheese
Fish like cod and salmon, eggs, milk, and cheese are all a great source of B12 which contributes to the everyday functions of our immune systems. B12 also helps reduce tiredness and fatigue which can both lead to a weakened immune system and the possibility of getting sick.
Winter is the perfect time to add root vegetables into your diet. Not only are they in season, but they’re hearty and can fill you up. Vegetables like winter squash and potatoes are nutritious and comforting. They’re the perfect vegetables to add to soups, stews, and one-pot dishes because they help keep your energy levels up and they keep you from snacking because of their satiety (keeps you fuller longer).
While oatmeal is a convenient breakfast food, it can also help provide essential winter nutrients. Oatmeal is high in zinc and soluble fiber which is important to keep our immune systems functioning. You can also add nuts, seeds or seasonal winter fruits to your bowl of oatmeal to help boost your energy.
Remember, what you eat during the winter affects your mood, energy, skin, hair and stamina. Be sure to include healthy food options that will sustain you and provide you with the proper nutrition you need to be at the top of your game.