Men's health

Wicked winter

The battle has once again begun! Winter is the month that brings colds, the flu, fatigue and freezing temperatures back into our lives.

It is a annual occurrence that sends many running for cover; right into the comfy arms of our favourite chair or bed snuggled up to avoid that winter chill. We mimic the actions of animals hibernating, waiting for the warmer summer months; however instead of minimizing fat stores, some may find their fat stores increasing, some at an amazing rate!

There are, in fact, some simple ways you can fight that battle this winter, don’t be afraid to take up the challenge!

  • The onset of winter can make us feel more hungry, this is due to an increase in our metabolic rate due to cooler weather inducing our shivering mechanism, choose a variety of food from each food group to keep your energy levels topped up.
  • Our sense of thirst is a very inaccurate indicator of our need to drink fluids, often we may feel thirsty but cold water is less appealing and fluids are easily forgotten. Fluids are required for delivery of energy to our cells and to collect any waste for disposal, maintenance of digestive processes and cellular functions regardless of the season.
    • Spread fluids evenly throughout the day.
    • Tea or coffee are great to warm up but keep to 3-4 cups per day and opt for herbal teas, decaffeinated coffee, soup or trim cappuccino to keep fluids up.
    • A splash of cordial or slice of lemon topped with hot water is a great variation
    • Milk and water are fluids of choice
  • Increasing our intake of dietary fibre helps to prevent heart and bowel disease as well as weight gain and obesity related disease.
  • Protein, Iron and Zinc provided through lean red eat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, lentils and legumes help to keep our immune system at its optimal disease fighting status. Casseroles are great winter warmers; however concentrate on keeping meal quantities low and adding extra vegetables to help improve immunity.
  • Steamed sponge puddings and fruit pies often feature at this time of the year; however baked fruit desserts such as baked apples or pears, crumbles or rice puddings are great healthy alternatives that provide your body with even more protein, calcium and carbohydrates, while minimising added fat.

For more guidance and suggestions to help you get through winter with more energy and less sickness and fatigue, call Lea Stening Health for an appointment today!

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

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