By Nik Toth The Lean Body Coach
Can you believe winter is only around the corner?
It’s important to remember that during the colder months our bodies require extra nurturing. Of course, it is often during the cold season that we tend to crave comfort foods more. It is also common to eat more than we really need.
Some of our favourite winter treats may include hot chocolate, freshly baked goods, hot roast vegetables fresh out of the oven or red wine. They can be nice and comforting, but where do you draw the line between which food are allowed to sneak into your daily diet? Since during the winter months we cover up to stay warm, many of us tend to get rather relaxed about our diet. It’s easy to give into sweet treats if you don’t have to worry about putting on shorts or a bikini the next day.
While it’s essential to treat ourselves with some soul food every now and again, it is also important to avoid overindulging in too many comfort foods. Maintaining a healthy weight during winter can prevent you from a lot of headache when the warm season rolls around again and its time to put on those bathers.
To ensure that your body stays nourished during this winter but stay in shape at the same time, make sure you include our the top 10 favourite winter foods:
1. Citrus fruits
they are a great source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and contain a flu-fighting ingredient to combat infections. These nutrients increase your immunity and help you prevent catching the cold. Indulge in oranges, lemons, limes and mandarins.
porridge made with wholegrain rolled oats is a must-have staple winter treat. Containing loads of fibre and energy providing B vitamins it’s a great metabolic booster. Our new grab-n-go favourite is Chia Co’s Oat + Chia sachet with added coconut oil and omega 3 fats. Just add hot water to get a dairy-free creamy and rich texture.
3. Bone broth
a simple broth contains endless amounts of gut healing nutrients, while it can also improve joint health, reduce cellulite as well as boost one’s immune system at the same time. A simple clear broth made with chicken, fish, lamb or beef can be the best remedy when you are feeling under the weather. Don’t forget to add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar while cooking, to help release all those nutrients.
4. Omega 3 Fats
they are known to reduce inflammation in the body but they also help in speeding up recovery from illness and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Omega 3 fats are mostly found in oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, as well as walnuts and chia seeds.
5. Roasted root vegetables
foods that grow underground contain warming properties and contain high amounts of antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative damage. Such vegetables include sweet potatoe, pumpkin, beetroot, potatoes, radish, turnip, onion and carrots.
this delicious green fruit is one of the best sources of healthy fats. It is perfect on salads, made into a dip served with corn chips or even grilled with cheese on top! This recipe is just delicious. Eating avocado daily can provide you with your daily dose of vitamin E –a skin protective antioxidant- and healthy fats to help you feel more satisfied after meals.
replace sour cream for a healthier dairy product that is made from full fat milk with added live active cultures. Yogurt can help you maintain a healthy body weight by encouraging the production beneficial bacteria in the gut. It also contains significant amount of protein, which can increase satiety and therefore makes you eat less during the day. Check for brands that are made with organic milk without added sugar, artificial preservatives, thickeners and colours.
8. Protective herbs & spices
most herbs have medicinal properties and it is highly recommended to add them to your diet on a daily basis. Such herbs include:
- Tumeric - known as the cancer-fighting super spice, it can protect you from disease while also help ward off colds and flues.
- Ginger - has warming properties, calms the digestive system and reduces bloating.
- Garlic – nature’s best antibiotic and the herb for a healthy heart.
- Cloves – a warming and soothing antimicrobial, which is also an antiseptic herb.
9. Dried fruits
ideal for snacks during winter seasons. Dried fruits can help you boost your micronutrient intake while also provide a sweet sensation. Have you tried dried figs or dates stuffed with walnuts as a snack? Or adding raisins, apricots or Inca berries to salads? It’s super tasty.
since containing healthy fats they help the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K. The good fats from nuts help keeping your body warm especially during the cold season because of its natural insulating properties. They also prevent dry skin, which is very common during the winter. Choose raw nuts over roasted, and always consume a variety of different types such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamias, hazelnuts or pistachios.