Winter is coming. The chill in the air is undeniable! With the colder weather usually comes creature comforts like a fuzzy blanket, woolly jumper or a big bowl of pasta.
It’s true - as the days get shorter and the temperature drop, it’s common for people to get SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder, that is.
SAD, otherwise known as the winter blues, can make you feel a bit blue during the wintertime, affecting your energy levels and appetite.
But there are a few things we can do to keep SAD away which includes exposing yourself to as much sunlight as possible, exercising regularly and maintaining a good diet. There are a few foods in particular that can help us get the nutrients our body needs - here are five foods that you can work into your diet this winter.
Proteins that are low in fat are easier to digest than high-fat meats. High-fat meats - like salami or sausage - make us feel sluggish. Lean proteins, on the other hand, support your immune system, lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and help you feel full for longer (amongst other great benefits).
So, if you’re looking to add more lean protein into your diet, consider skinless chicken or turkey, salmon, eggs or tofu.
You don’t want to go overboard on the carbohydrates, but you don’t have to cut them out entirely. Whole grain carbohydrates help to stabilise blood sugar so you avoid the sugar crash and the mood swings that come from refined carbs. Some whole grain products are even fortified with other beneficial nutrients like vitamin B and folate (which are also great for a winter diet!).
Look for barley, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta and bread if you’re trying to work more whole grains into your diet this winter.
Omega-3s are an essential nutrient for human health, however, the body can’t actually produce it on its own. Omega-3s can help improve blood flow to the heart and have anti-inflammatory properties to help the joints stay limber. They also help keep your brain sharp so you can stay on top of your game.
King salmon is one of the best sources of marine-based omega-3s - just a few 100g servings a week are all you need to get your omega-3s naturally.
Our bodies can produce vitamin D just by absorbing sunlight - that’s why it has the nickname ‘the sunshine vitamin’. Vitamin D helps the body fight disease and depression. So when the sun isn’t out as frequently, or when we’re stowed away inside, we miss out on this important nutrient. Fortunately, the body can also get its supply of this vitamin through food!
Healthy food sources of vitamin D include milk, egg yolks and King salmon.
Leafy greens are packed with nutrients that your body craves to help look after itself during the winter. Dark leafy greens in particular are good for both your overall health. They contain folate which is essential in promoting healthy digestion and cardiovascular health. Leafy greens also fight toxins in your body and help take care of your gut.
Spinach, collard greens and chard are all easy to add to your diet, whether you’re making a salad, smoothie or soup.
In need of some inspiration for your SAD-beating, winter wellness meals? Head to our website and check out our recipe section! We have heaps of delicious and healthy recipes that will keep you happy all winter long.