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Winter Health Tips

Winter Health Tips

Stay Healthy This Winter With These Vitamins and Minerals

We all know too well that this time of year due to the colder weather we can be prone to get sick more often. Taking care of yourself during the winter is important because it can have an effect on existing health problems. According to  The Keep Warm Keep Well Campaign from Public Health U.K., ”Your lifestyle can make even more of a difference when it comes to keeping well in winter.”

Read on and discover some healthy eating tips during the winter. Not all of your favourite foods may be in season but you can find plenty of other foods that will help you throughout the winter season.

Here’s to a healthy, tasty and above all, cheerful Winter!

Suffering from the winter blues?

The dark days have come again. Many people find this a pleasant time of year but for others, the winter is an unmitigated disaster. They suffer from fatigue, gloomy moods and overall lethargy – the winter blues. You might think it’s time for a pick-up pill. But before you turn to medication, you should first try something different: change your eating habits! It turns out that some foods are actually depressive while other foods make you feel more positive. If you want to avoid the winter blues, try filling your basket with happy food.

Sweet treats make you feel … tired?

If you’re feeling down, lethargic and sluggish, you might want to treat yourself to some comfort food: chocolate, sweets, crisps and biscuits. Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect. Sugar only peps you up briefly. It causes a spike in your blood glucose level and then crashes back down again. The result: you get tired, hungry and listless. The same goes for foods that are high in fats and carbohydrates. Sausage rolls, meatballs and pasta carbonara are tasty, but cost a lot of energy to digest. Coffee and alcohol should also be avoided. We understand that this blog is not going to win us any popularity contests so far! No sweets, doughnuts, pizzas or Baileys? And during the holiday season! Fortunately, there is some good news: happy food is not only healthy but delicious.

Serotonin: The Mood Lifter

Firstly, a brief lesson in nutrition. Healthy food contains vitamins, minerals and trace elements. These substances give you energy, provide an optimal sleep-wake pattern and have an uplifting effect on your mood. The latter has to do with serotonin, a substance that regulates the communication between the nerve cells. Serotonin really makes you feel happy: it reduces anxiety and feelings of stress and makes you feel positive and relaxed. A lack of serotonin is, therefore, one of the main causes of depression. The body needs certain nutritional elements to make serotonin, including tryptophan, magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins B and C. Therefore, it is important to get as much of these bad boys as possible. The more the better! Eating right in the winter also means including regular hot meals that help keep your body warm as well as your spirits up.

Vitamins and Minerals

Good Food= Good Mood

For a couple of hefty servings of tryptophan and magnesium, you really don’t have to go to an expensive wholefoods store. You can just pick them up in the supermarket. Fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat and milk products are all packed with these valuable substances.

An overview of the most important ‘happy’ foods:

Tryptophan is found in soybeans, parmesan, turkey and sesame seeds.
Magnesium is mainly found in dark chocolate (hooray!), bananas, fresh spinach, cashews and whole wheat pasta.
– Stock up on Vitamin B with nuts, peanuts, eggs, milk products, green vegetables and meat.
Vitamin C is easily found in fresh fruit and vegetables. Red bell pepper, orange and kiwi are great appetizers.
Omega 3 fatty acids are mainly in fatty fish, such as salmon and eel. Hate fish? Why not try swallowing fish oil capsules? Oily fish is also a great source of preventing a Vitamin D Deficiency and recent research suggests it can also help prevent the common cold – another bonus!

Sources: ageuk.org.uk,nutrition.org.uk,NHS.org,gov.uk