Seasonal Eating: Winter Edition
Our bodies are designed to adapt to our fluctuating environments each day, week, month and season. However, we adapt much better if we give our bodies the tools needed — being the smallest amounts of stress, chemicals, pollutants and allergens possible, regular exercise, and plenty of nourishing foods that are in line with the current weather.
This blog post outlines everything you need to know about eating seasonally, specifically in the cold winter months.
In the late fall and through the winter our bodies require extra protection from the cold, therefore we crave what we call "comfort foods" — warming, richer meals built using nature's seasonal fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. We may require extra sleep and rest due to the changes in weather and the smaller window of daylight, and switching to gentler forms of exercise like yoga, resistance training and moderate amounts of cardio might also be needed.
We are more likely to experience deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals in the winter, including vitamin C and D, Iron, Omega-3s and Zinc. Speak with your health care provider to determine if it would be beneficial for you to supplement for these possible deficiencies. To cover your bases nutritionally you can also eat plenty of tomatoes, whole grains, high quality sources of protein, greens, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds. Ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil are a particularly great source of Omega-3s.
Types of Foods to Eat
Foods you can load up on this winter include plenty of cruciferous and root vegetables, soups, stews, dark leafy greens, oatmeal, cooked fruits like apples, nuts, whole grains, beans and legumes. If you eat meat, choose quality over quantity and source it from a local, sustainable source. Hydrate from the inside out with plenty of teas and filtered water. Keep cold foods and beverages minimal to keep your body warm and keep your digestion running optimally.
Keep It Fresh & Local
Eating fresh foods grown as close to home as possible is always important for ensuring that they hold the most nutrients and have less chemical contamination. Below is a list of the in-season produce specifically in Ontario, along with an indication as to which items are the most important to purchase organic, when available. If you live outside of Ontario, a simple Google search will tell you what produce is available in your area.
Strawberries (greenhouse - organic)
Cucumber (greenhouse - organic)
Lettuce (greenhouse - organic)
Peppers (greenhouse - organic)
Sweet potatoes (organic)
Tomatoes (greenhouse - organic)