It may be cold outside, but winter needn’t be the unhealthiest time of year for you and your family.

1. Have a hearty whole grain breakfast

Winter is the perfect season for porridge (made with jovar, whole oats or wheat or brown rice). Eating a warm bowlful on a cold morning isn’t just a delicious way to start your day, it also helps boost your intake of starchy foods, provides you sustained sugars for 8 hours and a whole lot of fibre.

These give you energy and help you feel fuller for longer, stopping the temptation to snack mid-morning. Oats also contain lots of vital vitamins and minerals.

2. Eat more round veggies and leafy greens

Round veggies (turnips, sweet potatoes, yams, beetroots, red pumpkin) will provide the warming energy required. When it’s cold and dark outside, it can be tempting to fill up on unhealthy comfort food, but it’s important to ensure you still have a healthy diet which includes a good amount of round veggies and leafy greens (as its also seasonal).  Leafy greens will compensate for the lack of absorbing vitamin D (as the chances of you being out in the sun will be less during this season).

3. Boost your vitamin C

Research has shown vitamin C to be one of the most powerful immune boosting vitamins available. This water-soluble vitamin can be found in lime juice, oranges, kiwis, greens, tomatoes, yellow-red-green bell peppers, berries, broccoli, papaya and peas

4. Cook foods rather than eating raw

This is a season to use slow styles of cooking: roasting, grilling, stewing and plenty of soups.  The cooking style also brings in the energy of warming you up, and providing slow sustained energy.  Avoid raw foods, as digestion becomes sluggish and digesting these may be difficult.  Plus on an energetic level we need warming – yang – contracted energy, and not yin-light-expanded energy.

5. Keep physically active

You must move the body during the winter to boost mental health and physical immunity. If you are a walker or runner it helps to boost the cardiovascular system.

Don’t forget to keep warm!

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