Superfoods To Add To Your Diet This Winter
These foods add essential nutrients and vitamins to help one both fight and prevent common winter ailments.
During the winter, seasonal flus abound and our immune systems have to work overtime to protect us from them. In addition to that, when the temperature decreases, other problems may arise: joint pains, arthritic pains, skin issues, vitamin D deficiency, high blood pressure, and depression too has been associated with seasonal changes. Because it can get too cold, some people put off physical activity, leading to weight gain that comes from a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits. To combat these issues and form a preventative health plan, one’s diet is an integral part—ensuring that it’s adequately balanced and includes items that can protect the body inside out.
The foods below can be added to one’s meal plan to create a holistic diet that includes the various nutrients and vitamins that are essential to keep one healthy during the winter. Be sure to consult a healthcare practitioner before starting any new meal plan or making any major dietary changes.
Along with adding immense flavour to meals, garlic gives the immune system a major boost through the compound allicin in it. This powerhouse ingredient not only improves immunity and fights the flu, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Some research also touts garlic’s ability to help with cardiovascular issues, as it could help expand blood vessels, therefore regulating blood pressure. Along with these internal benefits, garlic also works on the outside to improve skin and hair thanks to it being full of antioxidants.
A great source of fibre, vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants and beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables. The nutrients it’s packed with help it to tackle obesity, blood pressure, diabetes and improve immunity. With a high fibre content, it can even help the digestive system. Its role in boosting the immune system comes from its beta-carotene levels and benefits for the gut—an integral part of the immune system.
It’s well-established that citrus fruits should be a part of one’s winter diet because of the way they enhance the immune system, thereby lowering the odds of catching a cold or other common winter ailments. Go for foods rich in vitamin C, like tomatoes, red peppers and, of course, the usual citrus fruits, to harness their antioxidants and ward off infections.
A household remedy for sore throats, ginger helps warm the body, and its anti-inflammatory properties can ease flu and cold symptoms. It may also provide some relief for those suffering from congestion.
Another way to warm your body from the inside is with the help of healthy fats that come from nuts like almonds and walnuts. They also have myriad other healing properties like cholesterol control and blood sugar regulation and can be had as a quick yet filling snack between meals. They can also help with skin issues because of the fatty acids and vitamin E they contain.
Odds are that you’ll try to not step out if it gets too cold, and that can result in not getting enough vitamin D. To avoid that, get the dose of the vitamin through foods like oily fish and milks and yoghurts that are fortified with vitamin D.
We tend to feel less thirsty during the winter, which can result in dehydration. Try to be consistent with drinking water, and supplement this fluid intake with tea (go for options that have less caffeine).
At Seva At Home, we produce a wealth of free health information to help elders live healthier, happier lives. This has been produced by independent research carried out by the Seva At Home team. This information is not a replacement for medical advice. Please consult your physician for relevant medical diagnosis and advice.
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