Immunity Diet For Winter 2022
Immune health is important at any point in the year, but it’s especially important for winter 2022. In past years, many people only had to worry about flu season when it came to their immune health – but this winter, like the last, COVID-19 is also a threat, with the potential for new variants and a resurgence of infections.
Because of this, as well as the aforementioned flu season that occurs every year around this time, you may be wondering how you can keep yourself safe from any type of infection. Making sure your immune system is functioning at its best is a key aspect you can focus on to give yourself the greatest chance at avoiding illness this winter.
Since diet plays a huge role in the immune system and how it works, being diligent about what you put into your body can be a great way to keep illness at bay. But what is the best diet in winter? Read on for our tips on building an immunity diet for winter 2022.
What is the best diet in winter?
The best diet in winter is the same as the best diet during all other parts of the year: whole foods that are rich in the nutrients your body needs. That being said, getting the same nutritional value out of whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, can be difficult for many people in winter, because it can be hard to shop locally for certain types of food when the climate doesn’t offer optimal growing conditions.
Eating seasonally is the next best way to make sure that you can also eat locally while getting all the vitamins and minerals your body craves. Eating seasonally is basically just eating things that are harvested at a specific time each year.
The reason why eating locally and seasonally is so good for you is because the closer you are to where the fruit or vegetable was harvested, the more nutrient-dense it will be when it hits your plate. But what vegetables grow in winter? And is it possible to get everything you need from seasonal foods?
What vegetables grow in winter?
Root vegetables are the stars of the winter show because they are harvested during (or close to) the winter months. Carrots, beets, radishes, onions, garlic, and turnips are all great vegetables that are full of different nutrients. Leeks, parsnips, and rutabagas can also survive frost and thrive in freezing temperatures, so they are the best options when it comes to eating in season during the wintertime.
Some other good winter vegetables include:
- English spinach
- Chinese cabbage and broccoli
How can I eat more greens in the winter?
The good news about greens and seasonal eating in winter is that many nutrient-dense greens are perfect for winter growing conditions. Take kale, for example: this leafy green is jam-packed with nutrients, low in calories, and thrives in colder weather.
In fact, the taste of kale even improves when it is grown and harvested in the winter months. There are several different types of kale to choose from as well, so if you plan on including it in your winter diet, you have a range of different flavors that can be used in different dishes such as soups, salads, and sautés.
Lettuce, like kale, is a great thing to eat during the winter because it can be grown and harvested in cold temperatures. There are also almost endless options to choose from when you’re looking for the perfect type of lettuce.
Other types of greens that can be eaten locally and seasonally in the winter include:
- Bok choi
- Miner’s lettuce
- Mustard greens
- Spoon cabbage
- Beet greens
Should I eat fruit in the winter?
Fruit is an important element of a well-balanced diet, but getting fresh and local fruit in the winter is difficult for many people because of the climate they live in. That being said, there are some winter fruit options that are just as tasty and nutritious as their summertime counterparts. Some good examples of winter fruits include:
Another great fruit option for winter is a citrus tree that can withstand cold temperatures. Tangerine and mandarin are both cold-climate citrus trees that can bear fruit into the winter months. Other citrus trees that can withstand cold climates include:
- Chinotto orange
- Changshi tangerine
- Meiwa kumquat
- Nippon orangequat
- Ichang, tiwanica, and yuzu lemon
- Rangpur and red lime
These fruit trees will allow you eat both seasonally and locally while still getting the benefit of eating fresh citrus.
Unfortunately, other types of fruits and vegetables that cannot be harvested in the winter are either flown in from far away or inaccessible. That is where it might be handy to stock up on frozen fruit or vegetables. Because these are frozen shortly after harvest, they maintain their nutrient value much longer than fruits that have been plucked and sent halfway across the world.
As a well-rounded approach, you could also incorporate different types of supplements to help to boost your immunity this winter. Taking vitamin D, vitamin C, or supplements geared towards immunity can be a great help when your locally grown and seasonal options are limited.