Main image by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
The cold and dark months of winter might seem like a bleak time of year for a nation of outdoors enthusiasts, but it’s actually the ideal season to feed your soul and nurture your health with fresh, nutritious fruit and vegetables.
While the lower sunshine hours and shorter days can lead to a loss in energy and put a strain on mental health, the choices we make at mealtimes can not only reverse the ‘winter blues’ but also boost your immunity.
“This is the time to embrace the indoors and lift your mood with your favourite music and food for the soul that incorporates the freshest seasonal fruit and vegetables,” says 5+ A Day project manager Carmel Ireland.
Winter fruit are a powerhouse of vitamins. In season at this time of year are kiwifruit, tamarillos and lemons. Navel oranges – that half-time sports staple – will be in soon. All of these locally-grown fruit provide a high level of vitamin C which supports immunity and is critical to managing chronic diseases, heart health and blood pressure.
“Adding winter fruit into your day can be as simple as a scoop of tamarillo on your porridge in the morning or a yummy, warm kiwifuit crumble for a healthy end to the day,” says Ireland.
Winter is the perfect time to embrace slow cooking methods. Whether you’re taking the time to put on your favourite music and try out a new recipe or throwing together a crock-pot of fresh winter vegetables and fresh herbs to create tasty, nutritious meals.
Parsnips, carrots and potatoes are a seasonal favourite and form the base of so many budget-friendly meals from soups, stews to roasted vegetables.
To keep the winter sniffles at bay throughout the colder months, keep up your green vegetable intake with kale, broccoli and fresh herbs providing an important source of a wide range of vitamins and minerals as well as excellent dietary fibre.
The cauliflower is the current vegetable superstar! Also in season over the winter months, this versatile vegetable is a nutritious winter staple whether you’re serving it as a rice substitute, roasted and spiced or mixed with other vegetables to bulk up a meal.