Winter nutrition to keep you well

It’s not news to us that as winter hits so does an influx of illnesses such as the common cold, flu and other viruses. Focusing on health-enhancing foods can provide you the best opportunity of staying healthy once the temperatures drop, so we’ve put together some helpful tips to help you remain well and nourished throughout the cooler months.

Concentrate on vitamins C, D and zinc
·      Zinc helps to fight off illnesses during winter, particularly the common cold. Eat plenty of spinach, beans, nuts, oysters, pumpkin seeds, seafood and beef.

·      Vitamin C is excellent at fighting against cold and flu.  Keep up your intake of fruits and vegetables such as kiwi, grapefruit, oranges, kale, swiss chard, parsnips, red cabbages, radishes, spinach, sweet potato, winter squash and tomatoes.

·      Our body naturally absorbs vitamin D in sunlight. However, this becomes compromised during winter. Try to consume foods such as eggs, oily fish, avocado, and dairy.

Local & Seasonal Produce

Not only is eating seasonal fruit and vegetable better for the environment, it is also better for your health. We are so fortunate to be living on the Mornington Peninsula with a plethora of farm gates offering locally, seasonally and sustainably grown fruit and vegetables.

Winter fruits: pears, apples, pomegranate, grapefruit, kiwis, oranges.

Winter veg: onions, garlic, shallots, scallions, squash, radishes, rhubarb, potatoes, peas, bok choy, kale, chard, spinach, carrots, parsnips.

Warming spices and hearty meals

There are plenty of reasons why spices and herbs as well as hearty meals such as casseroles, stews and soups have traditionally been used for centuries to keep us healthy during the cooler months. Include spices and herbs in your winter recipes because these act to warm your body, are anti-inflammatory and offer a wide range of antioxidants. Include turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, chilli, garlic, cumin, black pepper and cardamom.

Kate Save is an accredited practising dietitian, exercise physiologist and co-director of Be Fit Food in Mornington. For more info go to befitfood.com.au or phone 1300 2 MEALS (63257)

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