Many of us may feel in need of restoring intestinal health or wiping out winter tiredness. Explore our nutritionists’ tips about plant-based food to tackle some common winter ailments, and help balance our body fluids, fight inflammation, improve sleep and boost immunity.
Walnuts and cashews to tackle winter fatigue
Eating food containing a lot of saturated fats can leave us feeling low in energy. For better brain performance, we need to feed our bodies the good quality fats found in plants such as oils, seeds and nuts – for example walnuts and cashews. These essential nutrients will aid in reducing the inflammatory process, reinforcing our immune system and cardiovascular protection, boosting body energy, and acting on restoring digestive function and intestinal health.
Pumpkin and sweet potato to give winter skin a glow
Cold weather increases the build-up of sebum in our skin and can lead to breakouts. To improve the quality of our skin, we need to eat crucial amino acids such as glycine, proline, and lysine which combine with vitamin C to create procollagen – the ultimate skin booster. Other foods to keep your skin healthy include yellow-colored foods which act as a natural source of beta-carotene. Enrich your diet with pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, papaya, apricots, and carrots. Also, include food that is rich in Vitamin E such as plant oils, almonds, and avocados for antioxidant protection.
Banish that bloated feeling with probiotics, green tea and pomegranate
An imbalanced lifestyle can deeply affect our microbiota dynamics – the living bacterial eco-system that has a protective and metabolic role in our body – leaving us feeling bloated. To restore intestinal health and tackle that bloated feeling, try foods which contain probiotics, and fermented foods such as kombucha, water-based kefir, sauerkraut, fermented plant yoghurt and prebiotics such as cocoa, green tea, pomegranate, and berries. Including these ingredients in your diet will not only improve your digestive system but will also improve your defensive immunity.
Turmeric and broccoli to boost the immune system
Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, and Vitamin D all contribute to a normal function of the immune system and activate crucial enzymes in our immune defense mechanism. To combat illness at this time of year, eat foods containing these crucial nutrients, such as legumes, whole grains, chia seeds, flaxseeds, brazil nuts, guava, blackcurrant, broccoli, turmeric, and wild mushrooms.
Keep stress levels at bay with natural melatonin sources, like walnut and pistachios – and banish coffee after 3pm
One of the best strategies to reduce stress and control anxiety is making sure that you are getting not only enough hours of sleep, but also good quality sleep. Keep your sleep routine tight by waking up at the same time and avoiding TV or PC screens before bedtime. To tackle stress with nutrition, try foods containing good sources of tryptophan such as cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, edamame, tofu, sweet potato, mango, and pineapple. To boost sleep, also try natural melatonin sources like walnuts and pistachios – the richest sources of melatonin among all the food we eat. Additionally, avoid coffee consumption after 3pm. Caffeine is the chemical that blocks the receptors of adenosine, the real neuromodulator of sleep, and it takes around 6 hours to get rid of the caffeine contained in one single espresso.