Winter wellness with nutrition
Winter and the cold and flu season is upon us. To keep you well this winter we have nutrition tips to keep your diet in good order
Winter can be a time of less plant food variety in the diet. There are fewer fruit and vegetables in season, the power houses of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that our immune system thrives on.
How can you up your fruit and veg this winter?
Look for what is in season. Cauliflowers, cabbages, zucchinis are good whilst lettuce, tomatoes and summer fruits are not. This will influence the price and taste. A summer tomato is delicious whilst a winter one watery.
If what you want isn’t around or is on the expensive side try using some frozen and canned vegetables together with fresh. Frozen vegetables are snap frozen straight from the grower, with little time for deterioration, unlike some fresh vegetables you may leave at the bottom of your fridge in the crisper! Where possible choose Australian Grown frozen vegetables, read the label to be sure they state this. Where a product is packed is not necessarily where it was grown. Australia has strict agricultural laws on farming practices keeping our food supply safe.
Canned foods despite popular belief are not packed with preservatives. The cans are like little pressure cookers, with oxygen kept out that would allow many bacteria to grow. Sometimes there may be added salt, simply rinse this away. A small amount of sugar is added in some canned foods to help balance acidity, such as tomatoes, however this is usually small.
Canned fruit is likely to have more added sugar if in syrup, so buy in natural juice and drain. The disadvantage of the canned fruit is no skin, they have been peeled.
To boost your fruit and vegetable intake:
• Have half of the ingredients vegetables in nice warm wintery meals such as soups, casseroles, curries and stews. Add some Rokeby Probiotic milk, Filmjolk to your pumpkin soup.
• Set the slow cooker on in the morning and come home to the glorious smells of lamb shanks with vegetables, a hearty vegetable soup or winter stew.
• Salads can still be eaten in winter. Try:
-Adding roasted vegetables from a roast the night before- roasted beetroot, pumpkin, sweet potato, mushrooms and capsicum (has more vitamin C than an orange and still retains some of it when cooked)
• Add legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans or lentils for protein, carbs and fibre
• Kiwifruit, oranges, tangarines and mandarins are at their best. Nothing better than digging into a fresh winter orange with the sweet juice dripping down. Kiwifruit can be eaten with the skin on for extra fibre.
• Fresh fruit is a great source of vitamin C which can help reduce the severity and symptoms of colds, it can’t cure them though.
Carbs in winter
Carbohydrates are comforting in winter. Choose wholegrains as along with vegetables they provide fibre for your gut bacteria to eat/ferment. This is a very important for winter wellness. Feeding gut bacteria to increase numbers of the good guys can help keep out unwanted pathogens. More of the good bacteria is like having a strong army. They line up in the gut and help keep the bad bacteria from entering the blood stream. They also produce beneficial gases to look after your gut lining.
Add some wholegrain carbohydrates such as freekah, quinoa, barley or brown rice to any winter dish.