Seasonal eating tips: Have you been experiencing chilly mornings lately? Do you wake up with a sore throat and a blocked nose every day? Are you confused about whether to switch on the fan or grab a blanket? Trust us, you are not alone! There’s a sudden nip in the air, signalling the arrival of winter. While our hearts are all set to enjoy the flavours of the upcoming season, our bodies may not be quite ready for it. The transition phase between seasons can be challenging, as it makes our bodies more susceptible to infections and allergies. Hence, it’s common to find many people suffering from colds, coughs, and flu during this time of year.
According to Dr Jyoti, senior dietician at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, “The best way to cope with the weather change is through seasonal eating. It is crucial to maintain a healthy diet during the changing season to boost immunity and ensure proper nourishment.” In this article, we will share some simple tips and tricks that you can easily incorporate into your daily diet during the changing season. Read on for more information.
How Does Weather Change Affect Diseases? Why Do You Get Sick Every Time the Weather Changes?
According to a report on clevelandclinic.org, it’s not just the change in temperature, but also the change in weather conditions that can significantly affect your health. The report further states that three main phenomena contribute to increased instances of diseases: drier air, cold weather, and our exposure to it.
1. Drier air:
The transition from summer to winter makes the air dry, further dehydrating the mucus membranes in our body. This condition makes it easier for viruses to grow and settle in our bodies.
2. Cold weather:
While our bodies can adjust to the weather outside, sudden changes can disrupt our overall body clock. Cold weather can weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to various diseases.
Sudden exposure to the cold, dry atmosphere can confuse the body, leading to a negative reaction. While enjoying the brisk weather, lacking protection gives the viruses in the air ample opportunity to thrive.
Also Read: Immunity: 6 Foods To Eat During The Change In Season, According To A Nutritionist
Importance of Seasonal Eating: What Impact Does Consuming Seasonal Food Have on the Body?
“Eat seasonal produce” is advice we have all grown up hearing. But have you ever wondered about the importance of seasonal eating? A report on WebMD explains that seasonal eating encourages us to focus on fruits and vegetables that are easily available during a particular season. While seasonal food may differ across regions and countries, it helps promote nutritious meals and supports a healthy environment. Some of the main reasons for adapting our diet according to the season include:
1. Seasonal eating introduces variety into our diet.
2. Seasonal fruits and vegetables provide the necessary nutrients for staying healthy during a particular season.
3. Including fresh produce in our diet ensures we get essential vitamins and minerals that may be lacking otherwise.
4. Seasonal produce is fresh, readily available, and affordable at the same time.
5. Fruits and vegetables in a specific season offer the right kind of flavours to make our meals enjoyable.
6. Consuming seasonal produce is beneficial for the environment and allows it to cycle through its natural resources.
Also Read: 5 Food Combos That Will Keep You Warm This Winter Season
Healthy Diet Tips for the Changing Season: 5 Dos and Don’ts for Seasonal Eating:
1. Hydrate well:
If you thought hydration was crucial only during the summer, you are mistaken. Staying hydrated throughout the year is essential to keep the body detoxed and functioning properly. A report by Pennsylvania State University suggests that as temperatures drop, you may not feel the same need for fluids as you did during warmer weather. This perception might be due to less perspiration and decreased thirst. However, it’s crucial not to reduce your daily fluid intake. Adequate nutrition and hydration are necessary to help your body generate enough heat to maintain a healthy body temperature.
2. Load up on nutrients:
In simple terms, nutrients strengthen the body against seasonal diseases. Therefore, it is essential to increase the intake of essential nutrients to prepare your body for the seasonal changes.
3. Be mindful of spices:
With the nip in the air, our cravings for spicy, rich foods tend to increase. However, we often overlook the adjustments our bodies are making alongside the changing season. According to Dr Jyoti, it is crucial to be mindful when consuming spicy foods, as they might slow down the digestion process and affect overall health. However, “in small quantities, spices can work wonders in boosting your immunity.”
4. Avoid calorie-loaded and sodium-enriched foods:
Cold weather often tempts us to indulge in fried and calorie-rich foods. While enjoying these treats in line with the season’s vibes is understandable, overindulgence can further compromise our already weakened immunity. Therefore, it is advisable to limit calorie-rich foods in your diet to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
5. Enjoy warm meals:
Cold weather calls for warm meals. Including soups, tea, and other comforting foods in your diet can help keep your body warm and promote proper metabolism. According to health experts, a healthy metabolism assists in detoxifying the body and maintaining overall immune health.
Now that you are equipped with knowledge about changing seasons and seasonal eating, we suggest implementing these tips and making necessary adjustments in your diet to smoothly navigate the transition phase. Consulting an expert before making significant dietary changes is always a good practice.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.