Winter is around the corner and those days of shorter hours of sunlight and cold weather will soon be back. As you know, you may feel lethargic and the urge to eat snacks, starchy and sugary foods will increase. Are you aware that being prone to winter blues can lower your energy levels and cause mood swings?
According to experts, lower serotonin levels that cause craving for refined carbs and high-calorie foods can ultimately lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. However, there is absolutely no need to be concerned.
5 Top Nutrition Diet Tips For Winter
Here we take you through the 5 top nutrition diet tips for winter that will help improve your mood and boost energy levels.
1. Have Healthy Complex Carbs
When you consume complex carbs, it leads to a rise in serotonin levels. Thus make sure that you eat whole grains such as oats, red rice, broken wheat, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and millet. Say no to refined and simple carbs such as sugar, sweets, sweetened beverages, chocolates, and desserts. Also cut down consumption of white bread, maida, white rice cakes, cookies, burger buns, and pizza bases.
2. Eat Lots Of Fruits and Vegetables
Try to add diversified, colorful seasonal fruits and vegetables to your menu. The reason is that they are a rich source of all the essential vitamins and minerals that help maintain your energy balance. Roots and tubers such as radish, yam, turnip, carrot, colocasia, potato, beetroot and onions, ginger, garlic, etc come with the benefit of keeping you warm and energized all day.
Having said that, diabetes patients and pregnant women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) are not recommended to consume roots and tubers as they have high starch content.
3. Focus On Vitamin C and Vitamin D
Vitamin C is a good immunity booster that offers protection against viral infections. Fruits rich in Vitamin C include lemon, sweet lime, orange, guava, kiwi, amla, strawberries, and tomatoes. On the other hand, Vitamin D helps maintain serotonin levels and also keeps winter blues-induced depression at bay. Make sure that you get exposed to sunlight daily for 15 to 20 minutes. Also have Vitamin D-fortified cereals, milk, and eggs.
4. Zinc and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are vital
Zinc is an important component of white blood cells that helps combat infections. To add on, a deficiency in zinc can lead to flu, cold, and other viral infections which are common among children. To boost your zinc levels, have foods such as meat and meat products, beans, pumpkin seeds, and fortified cereals.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids help you overcome winter blues and also act as a shield against inflammation and diseases. Foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids include fish such as salmon, sardines, anchovies and DHA fortified eggs, flax seeds, chia seeds, avocado, and walnuts.
5. Stay Hydrated
Keep in mind that having caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee along with lower amounts of water can cause dehydration. Though you may feel less thirsty during winter, it’s essential to drink 8 glasses of water daily. It is to maintain body temperature and functions.
Also have liquid foods such as soup, porridge, and jeera water. Apart from that, drink teas such as green tea, ginger tea, herbal tea, lemon tea, cinnamon tea, masala tea, etc so that your body remains well hydrated.
Hope you found the nutrition tips for winter quite useful. Winters are times when you feel lethargic and don’t feel like doing anything. Following these tips would definitely help boost your energy levels enormously and uplift your mood.