Winter’s arrival usually signals the onset of morning frost-covered landscapes in the UK. It also calls (or at least asks strongly) for a dietary shift that supports health and vitality during the colder months. As Britain transforms into a snowy winter wonderland (or more likely a cold, damp and muddy island), our bodies seek nourishment that not only warms but also fortifies. Here are some of the best of the so-called “Superfoods” to embrace for health and vitality in the winter season, whatever form it may take.
Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips are winter superheroes. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, they provide a hearty and grounding foundation for winter-warming soups in particular. Roasting these vegetables not only enhances their natural sweetness but also introduces a healthy portion of superfoods to your Sunday roast and Christmas dinner, making them a perfect choice for a cold, snowy winter.
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are excellent sources of Vitamin D, which are vital to a healthy immune system. This is especially necessary in the winter months when the sun, our primary source of vitamin D, is no longer strong enough to produce this nutrient in humans. As a result, many of us are deficient in this Vitamin during the winter (and more prone to disease), making this type of fish and other vitamin D-rich foods, like mushrooms, egg yolks and red meat, true winter superfoods.
While winter might seem like an odd time for fruits, citrus varieties like oranges, grapefruits, and clementines are perfect for this time of year. Rich in vitamin C, these boost the immune system, (both the innate and adaptive disease defence system), helping ward off winter colds and flu. These citrus superfoods can be included in winter slaws or in side-salad accompaniment to the hearty, savoury dishes commonly enjoyed in colder weather.
During the winter months, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbages, kale, cavolo nero, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and Swiss chard are in season, bursting with nutrients. Many of these vegetables can grow through both snow and frost. Like Citrus fruits these super vegetables are rich in Vitamin-C and great for your immune system, which is overworked in the winter. They also contain high levels of carotenoids which the body metabolises into vitamin A which enhances night vision, (great for those shorter days) and supports healthy mucous membranes which in turn helps prevent infections.
I am a practising HR consultant working with several start-ups on an ongoing and ad-hoc basis in the London and M4 area, and am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or CIPD. I am the Director of thecareercafe.co.uk; thecareercafe.co.uk is a resource for start-ups and small business. It includes a blog containing career advice, small business advice articles, HR software reviews, and contains great resources such as HR Productivity Apps.