Keeping healthy and well in winter needn’t be a big effort | The Northern Daily Leader


Fighting the urge to grab for that comforting hot chocolate or big bowl of fried chips?

Yes, winter is upon us, and with the cooler weather comes the food temptations, but not all sits well within, and bad habits can lead to health problems.

Susie Burrell is a clinical dietitian and nutritionist who makes regular television appearances and has her own podcast ‘The Nutrition Couch’.

She said winter was an important time to support immune function and take care of mental health.

“As a dietitian and nutritionist, winter wellness is always a top priority for me,” she said.

“The great news is that a commitment to wellness does not need to be complicated or time-consuming.

“Wellness on a daily basis comes down to sustainable weekly strategies that slip into busy lives, effortlessly.”

Here are Susie’s top suggestions for staying well this winter:

Set yourself up for success. Rather than wait until the depths of the season to find your energy and motivation, set some lifestyle goals to help keep you fit, healthy and moving so that you glide through winter feeling great.

Set a simple nutrition mantra

Establish habits and routines that ensure fresh and unprocessed foods are the foundation of your diet. For example, create balanced meals that combine protein-rich foods with good quality carbohydrates.

Wellness: Dietitian Susie Burrell (right) and Leanne Ward run a weekly podcast ‘The Nutrition Couch’ offering food trend tips and advice. Photo: Supplied

Aim for a 30-veggie week.This will ensure your body has the energy, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals it needs each day to be at its best.

When we think of immunity, we often think about food. However, keeping hydrated is crucial to ensuring your cell health and immunity are on track. We need at least 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid every day, even when it is cold outside.

Get the proper vitamin hit

Vitamin A and vitamin C found in brightly coloured fruits and veggies, including carrots, broccoli, spinach, beetroot and sweet potato, are essential for the immune system. Zinc, which is found in nuts, seeds, shellfish and probiotic-rich foods, is also integral to our diets.

Boost your intake of foods that contain good bacteria or probiotics, such as fermented dairy and vegetables, miso, kombucha, and tempeh.

Pair these with prebiotic-rich foods that help feed the good bacteria.

We’re often less active in winter, which means we burn fewer calories.

The easiest way to avoid this is to plan and commit to regular exercise sessions and schedule it when you are most likely to do it.

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