Reading Time: 3 minutes

Winter nutrition: 8 easy ideas for enhancing your diet this season

It makes sense to tweak our routines in the winter. Whether we’re switching to a richer moisturiser to counteract the cold or going to bed a bit earlier on dark evenings, there are plenty of small changes we can make to adapt to the season. So it’s worth considering whether your diet could also do with a winter refresh.

We’re not talking about a total rethink. This is about making small, sustainable modifications that support your wellbeing to suit the season.

Check out our suggestions for enhancing your winter nutrition, from breakfast upgrades to the nutrients to know about.

Why is nutrition important in the winter?

Nutrition is important all year round. Having a balanced and varied diet means we can support our everyday health and activities, fuel our workouts and even improve our mental well-being.

Saying that, winter can be a somewhat challenging time in the UK. With darker days, colder temperatures, and the arrival of cold and flu season, it’s particularly important to look after our mental and physical health. One way to do so is through our diet.

What foods boost your immune system for winter?

It isn’t really possible to prevent illness or rapidly boost the immune system by eating certain foods in the short-term. What we can do is look at our diet and make sure we’re getting enough of the nutrients that support our immune system overall.

Easy ideas for healthy eating in winter

Consider whether you could use any of the following ideas to sustain a healthy diet in winter:

1. Vitamin D, the ‘sunshine vitamin’

Our bodies create vitamin D from sunshine on the skin, and obviously sunshine can be in short supply in winter! This is a key nutrient when it comes to tooth, bone and muscle health, so it’s worth considering a supplement to keep your levels topped up in winter – unlike other nutrients, it’s not easy to get sufficient vitamin D from food alone.

2. Fermented foods for gut health

There’s been increasing attention in recent years on the health benefits of fermented foods, such as kimchi, yoghurt and pickles. Studies suggest they can support gut health, which in turn has a range of positive mental and physical effects. There’s also research that says they can improve energy levels – and that’s something many of us could do with in the winter!

3. Frozen fruit and vegetables

If you’re keen to eat seasonally, you may well find you have less choice when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables in winter. That’s why it’s a good idea to stock your freezer.

Many fruits and vegetables are ‘flash frozen’ when they’re harvested commercially, which means they retain their nutrients – giving you an easy, not to mention economical, way to enjoy a varied diet in the colder season.

4. Upgraded breakfast

If time allows, consider switching to a hot, freshly prepared breakfast in winter. There’s something about a piping hot bowl of porridge, eggs on toast or a delicious omelette that can really enhance your mood on a dark morning!

And don’t be afraid to go to town. Make your porridge even more delicious (and nutritious) with peanut butter, nuts, seeds and berries, and add vegetables to your omelette.

5. Soups & smoothies

Soups can be an easy way to make sure you’re getting plenty of nutrients this winter, so long as they’re packed full of different vegetables. They’re also nourishing and comforting in colder temperatures.

Similarly, smoothies can give you a vitamin C boost by combining a variety of fruits.

6. Batch cooking

If you’re making soup at home, you can create a large batch and freeze the rest for later. And batch cooking can be a good idea when it comes to other meals too.

Sometimes, the last thing you may feel like doing is cooking – and that’s particularly true in the darker days of winter. Keep your stress levels down by stocking your freezer with homemade meals you can enjoy when you just want to eat and relax.

7. Hydration for health

It’s easy to neglect hydration when it’s cold, but it’s just as important to keep levels topped up in the winter. You don’t have to keep swigging cold water – high-water fruits and vegetables, tea and coffee can all play their part to help you stay hydrated.

8. Nutritious fats

Dietary fats can help support skin health. That’s particularly useful for winter, when our faces endure the effects of cold, rain, wind and even snow! Avocados, oily fish and nuts are great sources of biotin and omega-3, which can help plump the skin over time.

More healthy eating ideas:

How to use your diet to support your mental health

The breakfast guide for early morning gym-goers

What is plant-based protein?

Find a club
Skip to content