Over winter it can be hard to maintain your diet and hydration, it can feel like the cold is forcing your hand for decisions- along with Christmas parties. But, it is now more important than ever to support your immune system through you diet.
Providing your body with a balance of vitamins and minerals can be as simple as dividing your meal into five. Dividing your meal into small segments can help to make sure you cover all the food groups properly for fuelling your body, and fulfilling each of its needs. The best way to form a balanced meal is with a combo of healthy carbs, fats, proteins and vegetables.
Before you panic at the word ‘carb’, let us explain why you should not fear them. Carbs are great for fuelling your workouts as well as helping you recover from them, and they provide you with daily energy. The only way carbs can be harmful is if you make them.
If you over indulge on carbs outside your bodies needs, this is causes you to store fat. We recommend consuming carbs such as sweet potato, quinoa, or brown rice, within one hour of your workout to help with your recovery. However, try to cut down slightly on your carb intake on rest days where you don’t need the extra fuel.
We also recommend on eating more fruit as carb snacks over the winter. Winter fruit such as tangerines and pomegranates, as well as all year-round varieties like pears and apples, can act as healthy carb to provide you with an extra dose of vitamins to make you resistant to colds.
As with carbs, not all fats are bad for you. Some fatty acids are essential because the body cannot synthesise them on its own. The body can get these healthy fats from the oils you cook with- coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil- as well as nuts and avocados. It’s important to try to include these in your daily diet, one way of including them simply is substituting standard butter for nut butters such as cashew or almond butter.
Proteins are essential and a vital food group for building a strong and healthy body, whilst also contributing towards a healthy immune system. Therefore, we advise including a protein source in every meal.
Proteins such as fish, poultry and lean meat, all contain essential amino acids, perfect for the development of muscles. If consumed in time with your energy demands, they can help your muscles to repair. When combined with proper training, your muscle tissue will increase in size and in turn speed up your metabolism.
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We recommend spinach and peppers as the top vegetables to include in your diet. Spinach is low in fat and cholesterol, whilst being rich in vitamins and protein, making it beneficial for pretty much your whole body.
Peppers, especially the red ones, are an asset to your diet due to their incredible levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron, and red peppers contain over 200% of your daily vitamin C intake, so if you happen to be iron deficient then this is your ideal vegetable. Both vegetables are very versatile to cook with.
Drink yourself healthy
Keeping you body well hydrated is key to increasing your body’s fat burning capabilities. Try to start your daily water intake early, and don’t just wait till you’re thirsty to drink but keep consistently hydrated.
Aiming to drink between 3-5 litres or more per day, can help to benefit skin, teeth, bones, joints whilst also reducing fatigue and suppressing your appetite. Another great way to intake water is green tea. Green tea is great for further boosting metabolism and the digestive system, try switching your morning coffee for one.
If you plan on training outdoors this winter, try filling your water bottle with hot water. The heated water will help to maintain your internal temperature, with the added bonus of the bottle keeping your hands warm. You should also make sure you have the right fitness wear, this is vital when it comes to ensuring you are as healthy as possible.