As the cooler weather sets in, our bodies need a little extra boost to keep them well and vibrant. We find ourselves craving warming comfort type foods. Foods that make us feel warm and cosy on the inside, and really boost our immune system to ward off the onslaught of coughs and colds.
Specific foods have the most amazing capabilities to make our bodies strong and resistant to bugs and diseases. Even the simple act of including more of certain types of foods can dramatically increase your health, energy levels and give you a stronger immune system.
Here are 8 foods you need to eat this winter, because, let’s face it, when you’re a busy working woman, you do NOT have time to get sick!
1. Gorgeous Leafy Greens
Lovely, fresh, organic greens are truly leaves of health.
Greens are one of the most wonderful things to include more of in your diet, especially in Winter. They are a fantastic source of vitamins A, C and K and also contain iron and calcium. Greens like kale are especially high in nutrients and are even said to have anti-cancer properties.
When thinking greens, think dark green silverbeet, kale, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, collard. You do actually start to fall in love with greens after a while, and your body starts to crave them. Even if you’re not a fan, keep adding them to your diet as you will start to enjoy them. One of the best and easiest ways to include them into your daily routine is a green smoothie or juice in the morning before you head out the door. You can also take one to work for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Even the simple act of including more of certain types of foods can dramatically increase your health, energy levels and give you a stronger immune system
Just when we are in our cold and flu season, our beautiful citrus are at their delicious peak as well. Citrus fruits like mandarins, oranges and lemons are all fantastic sources of vitamin C and pectin. They are such a wonderful fruit group to include in our Winter eating plan, and things like lemon juice in water is fantastic for alkalising our bodies, and is even said to help reduce kidney stones and help prevent stomach cancer. Try adding some slices orange into your salads too!
There is a very good reason that garlic has been well-loved by humans for over 7,000 years. The health benefits are tremendous. Not only is it antibacterial and antiviral, it is also said to be a natural antibiotic and effective in preventing and easing symptoms of colds. Not to mention the benefits to blood pressure!
Add extra garlic into your soups, stews, pasta dishes–anything, really. For the most health benefits it should be eaten very lightly cooked, so put it in towards the end of the meal’s cooking time.
Greens are one of the most wonderful things to include more of in your diet, especially in Winter. They are a fantastic source of vitamins A, C and K and also contain iron and calcium
4. Omega 3 rich foods
Omega 3’s are found in many food sources and are a very important part of a healthy diet, and essential for a strong, healthy body and immune system.
Some of the best sources we can easily add into our daily diet are sardines, fish, flaxseed oil, nuts especially walnuts, seeds, especially sunflower and pepita seeds, and spinach.
5. B-vitamin rich foods
B vitamins are essential for good health, and many are also required for white blood cell formation, which helps us to fight off bugs and colds and feel more energised. It is a great idea in Winter to make sure you include plenty in your diet. Foods that are rich in vitamin B include eggs, bananas, potatoes, brazil nuts, pulses and beans.
Such a powerhouse of nutrients–avocados tick so many boxes. They are full of good fats, omega 3’s, b vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and potassium.
Add them to your green smoothies to make them really creamy, or salads for a delicious health boost, and as a guacamole into wraps, burgers. It also makes a great afternoon snack together with carrot and celery sticks.
B vitamins are essential for good health, and many are also required for white blood cell formation
Absolutely delicious, and packed full of vitamin C and antioxidants. Strawberries are great for for fighting off colds. They also hold anti-ageing elements, and help your overall health. A serving of strawberries contains half the recommended daily dose of vitamin C and they make a perfect, easy morning or afternoon snack when you’re working, or busy at the computer desk.
8. Root Vegetables
It actually works out perfectly that we are craving stews, soups and roasts in Winter as root vegetables are so wonderful to include into our Winter diet. Think sweet potatoes, potatoes, beetroots and turnips. The sweet potato alone is full of complex carbohydrates, B-vitamins and beta carotene. Meanwhile, beetroot is a great source of folate and manganese. The humble potato is great for Winter meals–even though it often gets a bad rep when put together with white bread and rice, it actually has many health properties itself like vitamin b6, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Featured image via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0
Bek Mugridge is an award winning author, horticulturalist, food columnist, cooking presenter and food and healthy living blogger at www.authorrebeccamugridge.com www.facebook.com/AuthorRebeccaMugridge
She has been on ACA, The Great South East, in WHO, Woman’s day, That’s Life, Vogue, Women’s Running Australia Magazine and many more.