Winter is the perfect time to enjoy mandarins, due to their vitamin C content. Vitamin C is not only beneficial for supporting a healthy immune system but it can also help to support healthy cortisol (stress hormone) production. Specifically, our adrenal glands, which make cortisol, rely on vitamin C, so it’s important to get an adequate intake to help support our nervous system and energy levels.
Freekeh is an ancient grain, harvested from green durum wheat and has gained in popularity over the last few years. Freekeh has a higher fibre and protein content compared to other grains, along with offering a source of magnesium, which provides a powerful combination when it comes to feeling energised. As an added bonus freekeh contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two beneficial carotenoids, which have antioxidant activities in the body.
Eggs are a delicious and warming way to start your day during winter and also work well as a comforting yet light meal on cool nights. In terms of fighting fatigue, eggs provide a source of iron, which supports formation of red blood cells and cellular energy production. In addition to this, eggs are a source of protein which helps to stabilise appetite and also B vitamins, which are needed to covert food into energy and help the nervous system adapt to stress.
Lentils, along with being a source of plant-based protein and fibre are also a source of folate. Folate is an important B-vitamin when it comes to energy. Specifically, a deficiency in folate can lead to folate-deficiency anaemia, which can result in poor energy and low vitality. Regularly consuming lentils is a satisfying and healthy way to help make sure you are getting adequate folate in your diet.
Hemp seeds are a plant-based source of omega-3 fats. These types of fats are essential to consume via the diet (or supplementation) because our body cannot make its own supply. Including fats at meal and snack time can help to increase satiety, which helps to support energy levels. Omega-3 fats are also believed to positively modulate the immune system and taking care of immunity is an important way to ward off feelings of being run down!
The humble oat offers a powerhouse of nutrition, making it the perfect addition to your diet, especially over winter. From an energy perspective, oats contain B-vitamins, which help the body to convert the food we eat into energy and are also very nourishing for the nervous system. Oats are also a good source of fibre, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent feeling hangry!
Cauliflower is another good source of vitamin C to support the nervous system and immunity along with containing sulforaphane, a compound which helps to stimulate numerous enzymes involved with detoxification. Cauliflower is a very versatile ingredient to use over winter; it can be made into a soup, mash, fritters, added to curries and roasted as a dinner side.
Sweet potato is brimming with nutrition including vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and also beta-carotene. Manganese is a mineral, which plays a role in blood sugar regulation and assists with the breakdown of food into energy. Sweet potato is also a complex carb and contains fibre, which provides a sustained release of energy.
These are a no brainer when it comes to supporting energy levels! Mushrooms contain a rich source of nutrition including B-vitamins, iron, zinc all of which support energy production in the body. Mushrooms also contain selenium, which can help maintain a healthy immune system.
These guys are good source of vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which are beneficial to support a healthy immune system and vitality. Papaya also contains papain, a compound which has been traditionally used to help break down mucus. Therefore, if suffering from a cold over winter, papaya is a winner on a number of levels!