It’s no secret that January is one of the coldest months of the year. Luckily, there are several wholesome tricks to keep your defences up throughout winter. Vitamins, for example, are your number one friend when it comes to fighting colds or the flu. This is not to say that you need to consume supplements on a regular basis. You can take an easier route and simply adjust your diet to include more nutrients. There are many ways to track your calorie and nutrition intake to determine which vitamins you’re missing. We’ve come up with a list of 3 cozy meal ideas that are highly nutritious and will help your body stay healthy and strong during the winter.
Read on to learn about which vitamins you need, as well as the deliciously nourishing recipes that we’ve chosen.
What Vitamins Do You Need in Winter and Why?
With less exposure to sunlight during winter months, our bodies are more susceptible to stress and need to burn more calories to keep warm.
That’s why giving your body a little extra love and care can work wonders in colder months like January. Here are some nutrients that drop their levels in our bodies during the winter, and why they do so.
1. Vitamin D
Winter months are the toughest on our favourite bone strengthener.
Known as the sunshine vitamin, our bodies struggle to absorb as much of this supplement as they do in warmer months when the days are longer and the Sun shines more brightly in the sky.
With gloomier skies on the horizon and lower energy levels to contend with in winter, consuming foods such as fish, eggs, or dairy products can help you prevent a vitamin D deficiency.
In case you already have a deficiency, supplements are the way to go.
Maintaining the level of vitamin D within your body, even throughout winter, will help strengthen your bones and make you happier, thus helping you fight off depression.
2. Vitamin C
This antioxidant is the fuel your immune system needs in order to keep fighting through the winter.
So consuming citrus fruits or bell peppers, which have an abundance of vitamin C, will help your body stay healthy and avoid draining your immune system.
3. Folic Acid
Here’s a vitamin to help you fight the winter blues. Folic acid is a significant mood regulator and will help you maintain a smile on your face despite the horrible weather outside.
It assists in the reproduction of cells and is very important for growth. This nutriment also helps prevent diabetes and heart disease, among others.
4. Vitamin A and Vitamin E
Both of these nutrients belong to the fat-soluble family and will help get you through the winter without a scratch.
A deficiency of either one can lead to a reduced immune response as well as an increased risk of infection.
Vitamin A is also good for your eyes, while vitamin E helps you fight numerous diseases and age more gracefully. Including nutritious foods such as eggs, dairy products, vegetables, and nuts into your diet will keep your vitamin levels high.
How to Know Which Vitamins You Need?
Tracking your nutrient intake will help you get through winter without taking a beating.
Consulting a nutritionist as well as religiously reading the labels on food used to be the answer to calculating your calorie intake and the vitamins that come with it.
However, now we are in the age of technology, and there are nutrition calculator apps that do the magic for you.
Imagine taking your favourite recipe, putting it into an app, and immediately getting all the nutritional info about that recipe. RecipeIQ does exactly that, so you don’t have to worry about deciding between eating healthily and eating tasty food.
3 Nutritious Meal Ideas for January
So we’ve looked at which vitamins you need and how to calculate your nutrient intake.
Now it’s time to find out the recipes to three highly nutritious meals, perfect for the winter.
1. Winter Vegetable and Lentil Soup
First things first, here’s a cozy soup recipe to eat while you’re wrapped in a blanket watching your favourite movie.
This meal is packed with vitamin C and vitamin A, so you can give your immune system a boost.
2. Spinach and Cheese Breakfast Skillet
Here’s a recipe for the most important meal of the day – breakfast.
This meal includes eggs, spinach, and potatoes, which are all filled with nutrition.
And besides being nutritious, this meal is also helpful in reducing your levels of ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone.
Eating this for breakfast will help you stay full for longer, and will benefit those who are trying to lose weight as well.
3. Chicken Jalfrezi
Last but not least, we have a delicious dinner meal. It is once again, full of vitamin C to boost your immune system.
Using vegetable oils, healthy greens, peppers, and other nutritious ingredients, this meal will keep your body strong and untouched by the challenges of winter.
Your body needs to be taken care of, especially during winter.
And having a balanced and nutritious diet can help do the trick.
We already told you about which vitamins are harder for your body to produce in winter.
Now, by using the RecipeIQ app to calculate the nutritional value of the ingredients in your meals, your body will no longer be able to tell the difference between winter and summer, autumn or spring.