Winter is the season when you tend to take in food with more calories and work less to burn them out. As a result, you not only gain bodyweight but also make yourself vulnerable to various ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases and obesity. It is tempting to relax with a cup of hot cocoa to warm up in the chilling days. However, such food items are sure to add to those extra pounds under your belly. Try having oatmeal with a touch of cinnamon and honey. This is not only a spicy hot winter drink to keep you warm but also acts as an appetite suppressant by keeping off your winter cravings. Let us have a look at what you need to eat for staying healthy in winter.
• High quality carbohydrates
There is a common belief that carbohydrate rich food is responsible for weight gain. It may be true to some extent but there must be some carbohydrate in your diet. There are few sunny hours in a winter day. Under such conditions, level of “serotonin” – the feel-good brain chemical, declines. The craving for carbohydrate rich food that you experience in winter is actually your body’s demand for maintaining the level of serotonin. Go for whole grains and high quality carbohydrates like squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.
• Seasonal produce
Adding seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet means you are adding more fresh items. Seasonal produce are healthy choices and they also add variety and color to your daily diet. Fruits like cranberries, oranges, pears, pomegranates and purple grapes are tasty and nutritious choice. Root vegetables like radishes, turnips and leafy vegetables like cabbage and broccoli may be included in your winter diet.
• Vitamin D
Sunshine is scarce in winter and the weather is extremely dry.
Scarcity of sunlight may trigger deficiency of Vitamin D. This vitamin reduces risk of ovarian, breast and colon cancer by about 50%. Vitamin D in trace amount is found in foods like egg yolks, fatty fish and dairy products. As such, it is desirable to take supplements of Vitamin D throughout winter days after consultation with your doctor.
• Healthy choices
There are numerous health drinks promising to prevent flu and cold but nothing can substitute good old lemons and oranges. According to studies, daily intake of 1000 mg of Vitamin C helps you to keep fit and fight cold. If this is difficult alone with lemons and fruits, include supplements. Yogurt lovers may be delighted to know that the probiotics in yogurt are helpful in keeping off common cold and flu. It also stimulates and aids your digestive system in this lethargic season. Green tea is a good choice for keeping you warm and healthy. There is no restriction on number of cups. Whenever you feel like having a hot drink, think of it as a healthy option.
Enjoy your winter days with these healthy foods and make sure to follow your exercise routine. Avoid or minimize spicy and oily food and try to eat in small portions.