Don’t dampen your digestion in winter!
As the temperature starts to drop, the temptation to consume warm, hearty meals increases dramatically as our body prepares itself for hibernation mode. This usually involves stocking up on energy dense but nutrient hollow foods generally higher in carbohydrates, sugars and fatty acids. With a stronger tendency for us to swap our morning walks or regular exercise for an extra snooze in bed, this can influence our health as our digestion starts to slow down, our immunity may weaken, and our waistline might even start expanding!
Whilst it is completely normal to let nature take its course and enjoy the winter blues, we need to make the conscious effort not to completely succumb to this hibernating season. One of the biggest reasons we’re constantly hungry is because the body increases its metabolism so that the energy produced from these foods can keep us warm. Incorporating high fibre foods is a simple solution to curb hunger cravings and fill you up for a longer period of time.
Porridge is a great meal that ticks all your boxes and is perfect on a cold winters’ morning! This meal generally consists of processed rolled grains, such as oats, brown rice and rye that make it easier for cooking and for the body to breakdown. These grains provide a good source of both soluble fibre, such as beta-glucan that assist in reducing your sugar cravings as well as insoluble fibres that do not get digested, but instead support healthy bowels ensuring you are kept regular. Having a healthy digestion creates a positive environment for your cells to thrive and function as it is not experiencing a build-up of waste or toxic chemicals. It is also important to keep hydrated. You should generally be drinking up 2 to 3 litres of liquid (preferably filtered water) as it assists peristalsis of the insoluble fibres through your gastrointestinal tract, and may result in constipation if you are not sufficiently hydrated. Most people with great digestive health are generally more energised (despite the dropping temperatures) and have the ability to control their diet and maintain overall wellness during the winter season.
Another quick way to achieve your fibre intake is incorporating lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet. Such as all kinds of berries- blueberries, goji berries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi, spinach, pumpkin and sweet potato just to name a few. These fresh produce are also perfect for building your immunity with its wide range of nutrients so you can fight against the cold.