Today, 21 June, marks the longest night and shortest day of the year – also known as the Winter Solstice.
While technically this means that the Southern Hemisphere will start enjoying more direct sunlight, it’s no guarantee that the cold weather has passed us by.
As we move closer to summer, there is still about two months of chilly spells to go.
The good news is some of our favourite produce like avocados, apples, date, citrus fruits, melon, papayas, pears, pineapples and tomatoes are still in season.
Add some diversity to your diet by experimenting with winter veggies like asparagus, broad beans, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and potatoes, to name a few.
These foods are not only more affordable, but they are also rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals to help boost your body’s immunity.
Dietitian at Discovery Vitality, Terry Harris has five tips to help you eat smart this winter.
Soup is a clever way of upping your vegetable intake during winter. Add lean protein (such as beans, lentils, chickpeas or shredded chicken) and corn kernels or a whole grain slice of bread on the side for a nourishing, balanced lunch or dinner.
Have oats (cooked in milk) for breakfast – it’s a warm and filling way to start the day, and it will sustain your energy levels throughout the morning. Oats is also versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways by adding different nuts or nut butters, seeds, and fruit.
Hot milky drinks can be comforting in winter, but hold off on the sugar and skip the hot chocolate all together. If the thought of drinking glasses of cold water during the cold months sounds unpleasant, go for hot water flavoured with lemon or unsweetened herbal teas to stay warm while keeping hydrated.
Skip sugar-laden puddings and enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit instead. Good substitutes for puddings are baked apples or pears filled with nuts, or banana with a dollop of unsweetened yoghurt.
You’ve heard of using local, seasonal ingredients, but matching your cooking methods to the climate is just as smart. Not only do you get the best out of fresh produce in terms of taste and cost, but you can warm yourself up with well-chosen cooking techniques. Here’s how.
Harris adds: “make it easier to choose healthy foods by prepping meals and snacks in advance. Go for dishes that are filling and nourishing.”