Winter in the UK (and probably many other countries in the Northern hemisphere) is rubbish! The days are short, it’s dark on the way to and from work, and the weather is gloomy and rainy.
Some days the temptation to stay in bed or curled up on the sofa can be overwhelming. I’m sure it’s Netflix’s busiest month.
With the adverse light and weather, combined with the dropping temperature there’s an increased likelihood of catching a cold, cough or fever. It’s important that we all take care of ourselves, our health and the health of our family and friends.
Here’s five food hacks that will keep you in high spirits and ensure your body is prepared to power through the winter months.
1. Go Crazy with Garlic and Turmeric
Garlic is one of the best natural ways to fight colds and coughs, and thankfully it tastes great in all sorts of dishes. It contains calcium, potassium and sulfur compounds that are great at fighting all the nasty bacteria. Add garlic to a stir fry, stew, curry, fry-up, fried rice, baked potato, the list goes on.
Another brilliant ingredient is turmeric which is claimed by many to be the most powerful spice on the planet for preventing disease. Added to your food it will fight infection and inflammation and is a great for managing depression and the winter blues. It will also brighten up those winter blues with some vibrant yellows!
2. Sample Some Salmon
Salmon really is one of nature’s super foods. Full of vitamin D and omega 3 fatty oils. It’s not only great for your health in general but is particularly good for combatting depression. Other healthy fatty fish including mackerel, sardines, herring and fresh tuna.
If you’re short on recipe ideas, try your hand at homemade fish cakes, fish curry or including some in a pasta or vegetable bake.
3. Citrus Fruits Are Not Just for Summer
Full of immune-boosting vitamins and antioxidants, citrus fruits are nature’s way of keeping the nasties at bay. Oranges are full of vitamin C, which is great for eyesight, and antioxidants which combat free radicals before they can cause damage, while lemons can also reduce stress.
From lemon in a glass of hot water to a glass of orange juice at breakfast, citrus is one of the easiest foods to incorporate into our diet. It’s not only great for us, it’s tasty and helps to keep our bodies hydrated.
4. Snack on Almonds
Almonds have all sorts of goodness hiding inside. The clever little nuts contain an amino acid called tyrosine that helps our brains produce dopamine. Dopamine is a natural organic chemical that acts as a happy-making neurotransmitter.
Snack on a handful of almonds, or add them into your baking or flaked on top of your morning porridge or cereal. You’ll have happy thoughts flowing through your system in no time.
5. Indulge in a Little Chocolate
This is one winter food that most of us can get behind! It tastes great and is good for you. There’s scientific evidence that the polyphenols (an antioxidant phytochemical) in dark chocolate can help improve your mood.
Indulging in a little dark chocolate, with 70% cocoa or more, might just be the treat you’re looking for to keep the gloomy days at bay.
There you have it, 5 food hacks that can help you get beat the winter blues. If you’re going to stay inside anyway, why not try out some of these tips in the kitchen? Let us know how you get on and we can compare notes!