Winter nutrition tips
The winter season is one of the most important times to ensure your immune system is in good health.
Here are five strategies you can use to maintain a healthy diet during the winter months:
- Make the most of seasonal produce
The winter season provides a wonderful opportunity to embrace seasonal produce – try pomegranates, cranberries, citrus fruits, purple grapes and orange root vegetables. You’ll be sure to consume lots of antioxidants for the winter months.
- Embrace home cooking
Why not use the longer evenings to try out new meal ideas and practice your cooking skills? Use the extra time you are indoors to try a new recipe, or add some new ingredients to an old favourite.
- Reassess your Vitamin D
A deficiency of vitamin D, the ‘sunshine’ vitamin, is common in people living with HIV, particularly in the winter months since the body is unable to synthesis this nutrient from sun exposure. Since food sources alone are often inadequate, you may want to consider supplements of this vitamin. Choose vitamin D3, the active form of the nutrient and be sure to speak to your doctor.
- Avoid holiday binging
While a bit of indulgence is expected, high intakes of refined sugar and alcohol can not only lead to weight gain, but also depress your immune system. Avoid an all-or nothing attitude – holiday indulging doesn’t have to mean holiday binging!
- Eat for immunity
An easy way to take care of your immune system is to ensure you consume vitamin C rich foods every day. The best food sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits and their juices (like oranges and grapefruit), kiwis, mangos, strawberries, sweet peppers, and broccoli.
It’s natural to change your eating habits with the seasons. Even if you make some less nutritious choices over the winter, remember that good health is a result of your overall eating pattern and every next meal is a new opportunity to nourish your body.