There will be a plethora of new gym memberships starting this month – usually in direct proportion to the number of beers stashed into the back of the cupboards. Giving up the things we enjoy can be stressful and it takes a huge amount of willpower to abstain completely.
You don’t need to be an expert to accept that the quality and quantity of food you eat has a direct relationship to your level of health. The good news is turning your body into a well-oiled, well-maintained and efficient engine that storms through the cold Scottish winter doesn’t need to mean cutting out all your favourites.
What you put in is every bit as important as what you take out!Well… not if you’re clever! According to the experts, when it comes to wellbeing, what you put in is every bit as important as what you take out – if you’re feeling more energised and upbeat that jog round the North Inch will be all the more appealing. Just remember it’s all about balance.
Here are your Top Five Tasty Balancing Acts for Winter health and wellbeing.
Super important for healthy bones and teeth, our body has an amazing natural ability to convert sunshine into vitamin D. However, as January 1st kicks off the year with a measly seven hours of daylight us Scots do face a challenge over the winter months! Wrapping up warm and heading outdoors does help but you really need to enrich your diet for an extra winter boost.
EAT: Salmon, tuna, eggs, cheese and fortified milk
VISIT: Provender Brown Cheese Counter, George Campbell for sustainable Scottish fish
Found in whole, unprocessed foods this is the group to beat the winter blues helping as they do to combat depression, boost energy levels and reduce stress. Of course, not all types of vitamin B do the same thing and as they’re water-soluble you need to replace them often. If you nail it correctly though, you’re going to feel more energised and better ready to face that Barre class!
EAT: Whole grain cereals, bread, red meat, egg yolks, leafy greens, brown rice, yeast and berries.
VISIT: Casella & Polegato for fresh handmade bread, Martin’s Fruit Bazaar for fresh veg and fruit, DG Lindsay for locally produced red meat.
Vitamin C will help you absorb iron more easily.Iron
Anyone who’s ever been anaemic will know just how important iron is to energy levels. This powerhouse of a vitamin will help convert blood sugar to energy, transport oxygen around your body and keep your immune system perky and alert. Worth noting that vitamin c will help you absorb iron more easily so keep the orange juice coming!
EAT: Spinach, lentils, potatoes with the skin, beef and chicken, avocados and beef liver.
VISIT: Howies The Butcher, Provender Brown Grocery Shelves, CS Chalmers veggies at Perth Farmers Market
This often forgotten vitamin has an incredible workload and as well as helping you combat the stress that often comes at the start of a year, it will boost your immune health and keep your skin, hair and nails from getting brittle when it's cold and dry outside.
EAT: Oysters, hummus, roast beef, lamb, pumpkin and squash seeds, dark chocolate, peanuts and raw almonds.
VISIT: George Campbell shellfish bar, Highland Health Stores wholefood shop for nuts and seeds, The Bean Shop for chocolate.
Studies have shown that Eskimos and Scandinavians with diets high in seafood have shown lower cases of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. The Omega-3s that are found in this amazing diet will help with depression, dry, itchy skin and brittle hair and have also been linked to relief in rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain.
EAT: Wild salmon, sardines, cod, rapeseed oil
VISIT: George Campbell for fish, provender brown for smoked salmon and pates – both also stock local rapeseed oil from Summer Harvest
Why not check out our online recipe section for great meal ideas using some of the essential ingredients listed above!
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