FIVE DELICIOUS WAYS TO GIVE YOURSELF A BOOST THIS WINTER
Delight your senses as the temperature drops
There’s a silver lining to the cool change autumn and winter bring.
While many of us retreat indoors, it can be easy to reach for some of the same foods, or take away orders(!).
The cooler months give an abundance of fresh produce – with no shortage of tasty ways to use it.
In season fruits include apples, bananas, berries, grapes, kiwifruit, citrus fruit, mangoes, melon, nectarines, oranges, papaya, passionfruit, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranate, rhubarb, and tamarillos.
In season vegetables include Asian greens, avocado, beans, capsicum, celery, chilli, cucumber, eggplant, leek, lettuce, onions, peas, potato, pumpkin, spinach, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomato and zucchini.
We’ve put together of list of five ways you can give yourself a boost this autumn and winter:
1. Boost your core temperature
The weather affects our metabolism, especially in cooler months.
During this time our bodies need more energy to keep warm, requiring more nutrients to keep up with our metabolism.
We’re also more likely to crave spicy foods and sweet treats during this time, which can see us regularly indulge in our ‘comfort foods’.
If you’re one to really feel the cold, it’s a good idea to increase the nutrient dense foods, along with movement, to help keep your core temperature up.
There are ways to pack more nutrient-rich foods in your cooking, even your comfort foods.
According to food.ndtv.com, they include:
- Green vegetables – the health benefits of green vegetables can give us a boost all year round, especially in managing our weight, blood pressure and gut health.
- Roots and tubers – plants grown and harvested from underground are rich in healthy vitamins and minerals, so pop a few more in your cart when you’re planning roasted vegetables.
- Wholegrains – to give your gut, heart and digestive health a boost reach for more fibre rich foods such as wholegrains.
- Nuts and seeds – these are an easy, nutrition-dense way to give your salads, stir fry, stew or curry a boost. They are high in healthy fats, antioxidants and are naturally cholesterol free.
- Spices – cinnamon and turmeric have a range of properties which makes them ideal to include in your cooking, such as lowering cholesterol and reducing inflammation.
2. Improve your immunity
The amount of time we spend indoors can affect our immunity, there are ways we can fortify against seasonal sickness.
Whether it’s your work lunches, something sweet, or your next round of bulk cooking for the week, there are foods you can easily prepare which can warm you and fill you up.
Look up some tasty recipes for or including some of the following foods, recommended by Everyday Health: soup, citrus fruit, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and salmon.
Kidney beans, barley, walnuts, dark chocolate, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are also ideal for giving your body a boost of antioxidants.
3. Lift your mood
Cooler weather doesn’t just cause a spike in our metabolism – fewer daylight hours can have noticeable effects on our demeanour.
According to Nutrition Australia, over 30% of Australians struggle with low mood during cooler months.
Some people experience an annual low point in their mood each autumn and winter, known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Beyond Blue describe SAD as manifesting depression-like symptoms – feeling hopeless, lacking energy, changes in sleep or eating patterns, less desire to be social or intimate, or loss of pleasure from things you enjoy.
Being more mindful of the food we consume can help support our mood.
- Try switching up your breakfast food to include more wholegrains, nuts, oats, muesli, and fruit.
- Get more Vitamin D when there is less sun – reach for more eggs, fatty fish, mushrooms, and fortified milks (cow and plant-based milks).
- Craving high fat or high sugar comfort foods? You’re not alone. For long-lasting energy and less chance of overeating, add oily fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), nuts (walnuts), seeds (chia seeds) and olives to your meals.
4. Save money when you eat seasonally
Eating a varied, healthy diet doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
If you’re environmentally conscious, living on a budget or just looking to shake up your cooking, there’s some great benefits to eating seasonally.
Buying produce which is in-season means you’re buying more cost-effective, fresh, flavourful, and nutritious produce.
An additional benefit is that your season purchases support local growers and can reduce food wastage.
A few tips to get you started:
- Purchase directly from the farmer or farmer’s markets where you can.
- Get to know which produce is seasonal in your area.
- Source seasonal recipes.
5. Try gardening
Keen to flex your green thumb? Want to grow your own?
There’s plenty of produce you can sow and harvest in cooler months.
Gardening is a recommended activity as it can encourage the use of many motor skills, improve endurance and strength and keep you moving, according to Healthier. Happier.
It is an activity which can suit all movement levels and most living spaces.
Even in low light months, even indoors, you can make use of tools such as grow lights to support your seedlings.
To give you the best chance of success, do your research or consult with your local gardening shop to see what set up is right for you.
A healthy diet is known to improve your mental and physical health. Help boost your employee’s wellbeing with tailored content and programs delivered by Springday. Learn more about our solutions or chat to us about how we can help you.
- Feeling SAD (seasonal affective disorder) – Beyond Blue
- Growing autumn and winter vegetables – Mr Fothergill’s
- Warm up this winter with healthy food swaps – Musculoskeletal Australia
- 7 tips for staying healthy over winter – Heart Foundation
- Winter blues: Having real impact in Australia – McCrindle
- Winter exercise is important for maintaining physical and mental health – The Conversation
- Winter diet tips: 5 foods you must eat in winter (with benefits) – NDTV Food
- How wintertime affects our eating habits – Everyday Health
- 5 key nutrients to beat cold weather blues – Nutrition Australia
- Feeling SAD (seasonal affective disorder) – Beyond Blue
- What fruits and vegetables are seasonal in autumn? – Flora & Fauna
- Health benefits of gardening – Happier. Healthier.