5 top tips for healthy eating this winter

A warmer winter stew

Dietitian Victoria Taylor gives tips on how to eat healthily through the cold winter days and nights.

The nights are well and truly drawing in now and with the colder weather come coughs, colds and the flu season, plus, for some of us, winter weight gain. It’s an important time to make sure you stay on top of your diet and keep yourself well nourished.

Sticking to a healthy diet won’t prevent you from picking up winter illnesses, but it can help maintain your immune system to better protect you. And should you fall ill, a nutritious diet can help speed up your recovery.

In winter, it can seem harder to stick to heart-healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating plenty of fruit and veg. The range of seasonal fruit and vegetables declines at this time of year, and the weather can make getting out and about less appealing. However, while daylight may be in short supply, there are still ways that you can look after your diet and your heart health. Here, we share our tips on how to get through a cold winter’s day.

1. Fight flu

When you have flu, it’s important to keep eating and drinking, even if you don’t feel like it. Use your store cupboard and freezer to keep a store of meals that are easy to cook and prepare. Just make sure you check the nutritional information of any pre-prepared foods. Go for low-saturated fat and low-salt versions whenever possible.

2. Get your 5-a-day

Boost your 5-a-day by mixing mashed potato with other root vegetables like parsnips, carrots and turnips.

Visit the eatwell plate to check your proportions.

Bowl of fruit with yogurt

3. Avoid comfort eating

The cold weather and long nights can increase the temptation to comfort eat in the winter. Resist the urge but if you are really hungry between meals, try a cup of homemade vegetable soup or a bowl of stewed fruit to fill the gap.

4. Shop online

If you find it difficult to get out and about when it’s cold and icy, try an internet shop to get the bulky heavy items brought to your door (if you don’t have internet access, some supermarkets also take orders by phone). Getting out is important though, so try to do this whenever you are shopping for a few small items and you don’t have heavy bags to carry.

5. Buy frozen

Don’t be afraid of using frozen vegetables – they are sometimes more nutritious than fresh and will last well in the freezer so there’s no waste.

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