When I think of winter, I think of warm cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate, bread, and cookies! While these foods taste delicious, they don’t exactly feed or support our bodies in the best way. Instead of giving up all of these foods, I am going to share a few healthy alternatives you can implement to nourish your body and stay supported during the winter months (and year-round) without missing out on yummy foods!
1. Bananas in replacement of flours for things like pancakes or breads
2. Oils: Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil instead of vegetable oil or canola oil
3. Ghee instead of butter or margarine
4. Noodles/pasta: spaghetti squash, zucchini, chickpea or even brown rice are better than whole wheat or white noodles
5. Flours: Rice, wheat and white flour all have a high glycemic index (not as easily digested or absorbed) and are typically highly processed. Coconut flour and almond flour are both better options that are not processed and contain nutrients.
6. Milk: Almond, cashew or coconut milk instead of dairy or soy milk.
7. Coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
8. Bone broth vs. preservative-filled soup
Vitamin D is unfortunately hard to get in Minnesota, even in the summer. I’ve heard it said that there are only 6 weeks out of the year when the sun is at the correct angle for our skin to make Vitamin D. This means that supplementation is necessary practically year round – but here are some good food options to help support the Vitamin D deficiency!
1. Cod liver oil
2. Wild-caught salmon
6. Beef Liver
Vitamin D also plays a role in many processes within the body including supporting the immune, nervous and muscular systems.
Who has heard of seasonal eating? It is the concept of eating according to what would naturally have been available to our ancestors. For example, watermelon would not have been one of the main food groups in the winter because there would not have been access to it during that time.
Seasonal foods for the winter: Slow-cooked soups, broths, and stews. Black beans, kidney beans, squash, potatoes, root vegetables, winter greens, carrots, celery, endive, escarole, cabbage, mushrooms, apples, pears, lamb, chicken, walnuts, seeds, roasted nuts, quinoa, oats, rye, barley, millet.
Implementing a few (or all) of these ideas will help your body feel and function at a higher level! Let us know if you have any questions or need help finding resources.
-Dr. Sophie Mills