Written by Anika Rouf.
5 tips for a healthier winter
We all know that feeling when you wake up on a cold winter morning and something doesn’t feel quite right. It starts off with a sore throat and you just know you’re coming down with something. You start wondering who you caught it from and whether you could have taken any precautions! Here are 5 tips to keep your wellness game strong this winter:
- Keep colours on your plate
Fruit and vegetables are a source of antioxidant and nutrients that protect us against cell damage and infection. Try baking some seasonal vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, beetroot etc. You could also include them in casseroles or soups, perfect for some winter warmth!
- Keep up with your fluid intake
Water is needed in lymph fluid which is part of your immune system and can help fight off illness. However, most of us struggle to drink enough water due to the cold. This is where hot drinks like tea can come in handy. Green tea is packed with antioxidants and can also provide comfort and warmth in the cold. You can also try drinking warm water with a slice of lemon or citrus fruit for added flavour.
- Boost up your immune system
Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) like vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc have a key role in keeping our immune system going strong. Vitamin A is found in orange and yellow vegetables like sweet potatoes pumpkin while vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries.
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin can also help support the immune system. Sources of vitamin D include sun exposure, oily fish such as mackerels, salmon, and sardines, as well as fortified margarines. Zinc is a mineral that can help with healing and is found in lean meat, poultry and seafood and smaller amounts in pepitas, sesame seeds, and baked beans.
- Keep exercising
Statistics suggest that 45% of Australians are expected to put on 1-2kg this winter. Winter weight gain commonly occurs from exercising less, eating more snack and takeaway foods. While exercising in the cold can be challenging, it can also boost your mood and reduce your stress levels. Stress can have a negative impact on our body as it sets up chronic inflammation in our body. Producing excess amounts of cortisol (due to stress) can weaken the immune system.
- Keep your hygiene game strong
This may sound simple but washing hands frequently is the number one way to stop the spread of germs. Experts recommend washing hands every few hours, especially after using the toilet and before eating. It’s also a good idea to wash them after touching someone else’s phone or keyboard at work.