Laura McCann is a registered dietitian with Loblaws, part of a network of dietitians who provide free services like one-on-one consultations, assisted shopping and recipe ideas at locations across the country. Contact [email protected] to book a free consultation.
Is the winter weather affecting your mood?
Well, you’re definitely not alone.
With the serious lack of sunlight and cold temperatures, it’s easy to catch the winter blues. While you can’t control the weather, you can control what goes into your body to give you a boost when you’re feeling down.
To help ward off the winter blues, eat how you want to feel by adding these four foods to your food repertoire.
The Classic: Citrus Fruit
This is a great time of year to be eating citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines because they’re juicy and packed with flavour. Not only are they tasty, they provide vitamin C, an antioxidant for the maintenance of good health, which is important during cold and flu season.
The Powerhouse: Beans and Legumes
These vegetarian proteins including chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils, are packed with zinc, a mineral that helps fight cold and flu. They’re easy go-to options when you’re feeling low in energy and want to throw together a quick meal. Why not try making a quick quesadilla by mashing black beans and tossing in some grated cheese and tomatoes?
Grab and Go: Nuts and Seeds
No snack is more convenient than a handful (1/4 cup) of nuts. If your meals are more than five hours apart, grab a handful of nuts, particularly in the afternoon to keep you energized. The vitamin E in nuts provides us with antioxidants to help us stay healthy. For a balanced snack, try pairing your nuts with a Cara Cara orange.
Get That Good Fat: Fatty Fish
Salmon, Arctic char, and rainbow trout are all examples of fatty fish which provide omega-3 fatty acids, an essential part of a healthy diet. Fish is another quick dinner option – it only takes about 10-minutes to bake a fillet. While it’s in the oven, prepare a whole grain, my favourite these days is the PC Blue Menu 5 Grain Blend, and steam some veggies such as bok choy. Aim to eat two servings of fatty fish weekly.
Eating well and choosing foods that make you feel good is important throughout the year, but it can really put a boost in your step when the lack of light and warmth are bringing you down. It doesn’t require a lot of time or meal prep, so have fun with your food!