5 Tips for Healthy Eating During the Cold Months

There’s something about warm weather that makes healthy eating easy. Maybe it’s the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that come into season? The warmer weather makes us more thirsty, so we drink more water? Whatever the magic combination is, it doesn’t quite make it into the winter months. It’s draining to go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. It’s not quite the kind of mindset that makes one say ‘Let’s grill some deliciously healthy chicken veggie kabobs.’

But, as we all know, healthy eating shouldn’t be just a summer activity. In addition to cold, dark days, winter also tends to bring the flu, colds and other maladies that (in part) could be better managed through better eating. Here are some tips from Cenovis on getting through the winter months with your health intact.

1. Boost your immunity
Theoretically, we would get all the vitamins and minerals we need through beautifully-balanced diets. In the real word, though, it can be more challenging than that. Give your body a little extra help by learning more about vitamins and supplements to see if they are a good solution for you. Supplements containing vitamin C, zinc, iron, and Echinacea support immune function, arguably something of top priority during prime cold and flu season. Vitamin D, aka the sunshine vitamin, is another one you may want to consider adding to your regimen to boost immunity.

2. Increase your fruit, vegetable, and garlic intake
Yes, even frozen or canned foods are better than nothing (just make sure they don’t have any added sugars or things like that).  And toss in some garlic. Did you know that tiny addition does more than adding a little kick to your winter meals? It’s also another immune booster!

3. Dig up some good crock pot recipes
Crock pots are great, efficient cooking devices that lend themselves well to the winter months. Toss some ingredients into the pot in the morning and return home to delicious smells and a ready meal. It’s easy to use economical cuts of red meat (lots of zinc and iron) with some carrots, celery, and whatever else tickles your fancy. These meals can double as healthy comfort food, which is just as important in battling any touches of seasonal affective disorder.

4. Make some soups
Healthy winter eating should include soups and not just the canned kind. Don’t be afraid of experimenting by starting with a broth base (the grocery store has plenty) that you can optimize with your own additions of vegetables, beans, meats and spices.  Make a big batch and have leftovers for lunches. Try a different combination each week to keep things exciting.

5. Drink water
It’s the most common recurring health tip, right? But the fact is, in winter most people forget to drink as much water as is recommended. In summer, it’s hot and we crave it. In winter, it may not be hot, but think about how dry the air is.  Your insides have the same problem as your dry eyes, cracked skin and chapped lips – keep it all hydrated by trying to up your water intake.. 

When it's cold out, it's easy to plunk down in front of the TV and munch on comfort foods while you're bundled up, swiping through stories on your iPad. Remember to watch your winter food habits, and it'll be that much easier to swing into warm weather mode in a few months!