The short days, often rainy, or even snowy weather, the lack of light: all these elements compel us to want to hibernate in winter, and to prepare hearty, comforting meals. What is especially needed in winter? What foods can cover our needs?
The seasons affect our vitality, and our diets. In the winter, it is very easy to gain weight or on the contrary to stay in shape. Here are 7 tips for eating well in winter.
1. Go for vitamin C: citrus fruits, kiwis, mangos…
In winter, vitamin C, an antioxidant, is especially important to help fight colds in the cooler weather. Citrus fruits, kiwis and exotic fruits such as mango or papaya replace the red berries of summer in providing vitamin C.
How many a day? 1 or 2 of these fruits at least. Chewable, or drink in the form of juice.
Warning: vitamin C is very fragile. Pressed orange juice must be drunk within 30 minutes of preparation, otherwise the vitamin C will have had time to degrade.
Also, certain dietary supplements may help to provide vitamins, for example, selenium zinc which prevents the degeneration of the cells in the body responsible for the deterioration of your general condition and thus preserves your health capital.
2. Oily fish for vitamin D
Vitamin D is mainly made by the skin in contact with the sun's rays. In winter, exposure to the sun is much too low to trigger this phenomenon. Even if the diet provides only one third of the required vitamin D intake, it is good to use this simple way to not accentuate the deficiencies.
Fatty fish (herring, sardines, mackerel, salmon, tuna) are very rich in vitamin D, and cod liver is 100 times richer in vitamin D than fatty fish. Our grandmothers and their winter cod liver oil cure were right.
How much per week? 2-3 times a week.
Vitamin D supplementation is often necessary for many of us, on the advice of your doctor. Of course, a cod liver oil cure can also do the trick.
3. Consume fruits and vegetables: fiber, vitamins and minerals in abundance
Winter vegetables, be it root vegetables (beets, turnips, carrots, etc.), cucurbits (pumpkin, pumpkin, butternut squash, etc.), or the cabbage family (from Brussel sprouts, red, green, white, broccoli, etc.) are all grown in the cold season and therefore provide essential nutrients for the season: vitamins of group B, vitamin C (in cabbages especially), minerals (calcium potassium, magnesium) and various antioxidants (beta-carotene, carotenoid, polyphenols) according to their orange, red, purple and green color. They are also packed with fibers.
It's the same for winter fruits, which also include exotic fruits. Without forgetting the dried fruits, champions for the fibers.
How many a day? Every meal consume at least two different vegetables and a fruit, at noon and in the evening. Raw or cooked, plain, in the form of compote, puree, gratin, soups, juice.
Canned or frozen vegetables will work well when you do not have time to peel fresh vegetables, and they are inexpensive. Just like dietary supplements, which can be a very good alternative, such as essential vitamins and minerals that intervene at different levels in the metabolism to help your body recharge.
4. Whole grains and pulses: fiber, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins
Whole or semi-complete cereals (rice, flour, semolina, pasta, bread, etc.) and pulses (white beans, red beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.) provide other fibers than vegetables, minerals, and are especially good at lengthening satiety. When it is cold and energy spent maintaining body temperature is more important, these high glycemic index foods are very useful.
Their vegetable protein content is another advantage, but care must be taken to eat both families of food at the same time to have all the essential proteins (red beans + rice, or lentils + rice, semolina + chickpeas for example).
How much per week? 3 to 4 times. Cold or hot, plain, in the form of mashed potatoes, soups.
5. Soups, broths, hot drinks: hydration
Dishes containing plenty of water such as soups and broths, as well as hot drinks such as herbal teas, infusions, tea (green if possible) and coffee (in reasonable proportions) actively contribute to your hydration, in addition to water (1.5 l/day).
How much per day to eat well in winter? As often as we are thirsty, to vary with the water. And to warm up.
6. Eat your fill
We always think that you have to eat more in winter. But in fact, it is important to eat only when you are hungry, no more, no less. The body is able to regulate itself according to its needs.
If you take a long walk in the cold, you will certainly be more hungry than usual. This is normal, since there is physical activity coupled with cold. Eat your fill and stop when you're full.
7. Move, of course!
The bad weather and the cold make it more desirable to stay languid on the couch, than to play sports, right? But we do not have to play sports to move. You can do the housework, go up and down the stairs, go shopping, visit an exhibition, walk a minimum of 30 minutes a day. In short, not sitting all day, also helps maintain vitality.
Obviously, a regular practice of one – or more – sports, in addition to the physical activities of daily life, remains ideal, even in winter.
How many a day? At least 30 min walk. And practice a sport at least three times a week.