5 months ago

Change food habits to stay energetic during winter

-Reuters file photo
-Reuters file photo

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A gloomy sky, cold air, shorter daytime and darker nights are all hallmarks of winter. It comes with the prospect of a lot of diseases, both physical and mental. Winter impacts the internal rhythm of our body, slowing it down. To keep ourselves energised, we may have to make some changes in the diet. The objective is to shore up micronutrients to bolster our immune system, thus enabling our body to fight the dual danger of cold and disease.

Nutritional requirements change from one season to the next based on the weather. During winter, our body demands more food. The purpose is to generate more heat to keep us warm. Also, due to the lack of fresh air, there is a risk of many respiratory infections. Proper nutrients, among others, are necessary to minimise the risk.

Because of the lack of sunlight, it may be difficult for the body to produce enough vitamin D. So, our winter diet should include rich food sources. Examples include oily fish, egg yolk, fortified milk, avocado, cereal and beef liver. If necessary, a supplement may be taken.

Omega-3 fatty acid is another essential nutrient we should look for in this cold weather. Omega-3 can reduce the flakiness, itching and dryness of winter months. Additionally, it helps to lower the risk of depression, called 'Winter Blues'. So, we must ensure our diet contains sufficient walnuts, flaxseeds, herring, salmon or mackerel. Do not forget about Magnesium. It has the potential to reduce stress and enhance sleep. We can get it from seeds, legumes, nuts and whole grains.

Along with winter comes many diseases. So, something is required to boost our immunity. Vitamin C can do that. This micronutrient is indispensable for protein metabolism, makes antibodies and augments the immune system. Oranges, lime, grapefruit, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are good sources of vitamin C.

Ever feel that we are drowsy a lot during winter? That makes sense since a lot of the hormone melatonin is produced during winter, which can make us tired and sleepy. To balance that, extra serotonin hormone is needed. This can be obtained from different nuts and sunflower seeds. Serotonin can also fight depression, a common feature of winter.

Another element we can add to our diet in winter is mushrooms. They offer plenty of health benefits. For example, mushrooms have a lot of selenium, vitamins C and D, all antioxidants. It is a good source of B vitamins as well. Also, green leafy vegetables should always be part of our diet, especially during winter.

Never shy away from drinking water in winter. We can get dehydrated in winter due to lower humidity and excess water loss in urine. To make matters worse, signs of dehydration may not be as obvious as in summer.

Winter is a challenging time for our health. To ensure we are taking care of it, a good understanding of the role of specific nutrients is essential. Our goal should be to attain a high energy level, reduce the risk of physical and mental illness, and manage an active lifestyle as much as possible.

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