Nutrition Tips

Do you fall short on fruit and vegetables in winter?

Posted on
May 23, 2019

There are however, fewer fruit and vegetables in season during the cooler months, the power houses of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that our immune system thrives on. We therefore need to focus on including plenty of these in our diet to fight off the unwanted bugs and still have us feeling and perofrmaing at our best. Here are some tips for you to enjoy and keep you well through the winter months. 


How can you increase fruit and vegetable variety in winter? 

There are however, fewer fruit and vegetables in season during the cooler months, the power houses of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that our immune system thrives on. We therefore need to focus on including plenty of these in our diet to fight off the unwanted bugs and still have us feeling and perofrmaing at our best. Here are some tips for you to enjoy and keep you well through the winter months. 

·        Mix and match. Try using some frozen vegetables as well as fresh. Frozen vegetables are snap frozen straight from the grower, with little time for deterioration of the produce. Where possible choose Australian Grown, read the label to be sure. Where a product is packed is not necessarily where it was grown.Australia has strict agricultural laws on farming practices keeping our food supply safe. 

·        Keep a stock of canned legumes, corn, beetroot, tomatoes, soups and other vegetables in the pantry. Canned foods despite popular belief are not packed with preservatives.The canning keeps the produce sealed, free from oxygen that would allow many bacteria to grow. Sometimes there may be added salt which you can rinse off.  A small amount of sugar is added in some canned foods to help balance acidity, others such as canned fruit can have more.  Read the labels to be sure of ingredients and quantities. 

·        Fresh produce will often taste best particularly if in season. A peach for example, out of season can be dry and floury, whilst in season is juicy and sweet. Sweetcorn, cauliflower, oranges, asparagus and kiwifruit are just a few of the winter season fruit and vegetables.

·        Aim to have half the plate or volume of the dish vegetables. Hearty winter meals such as soups,casseroles, curries and stews. One of my favourite things about winter cooking is pulling out the slow cooker. I set it in the morning and come home to the glorious smells of lamb shanks with vegetables, a hearty vegetable soup, curry or winter stew. As it gets dark early in winter when we get home we often,'want to eat now'. Knowing the slow cooker is ready will avoid going to the drive through, ordering in or instant noodle options. 

·        Salads can also be away to eat your vegetables over winter. Salads you say? Try adding roasted vegetables from a roast the night before- roasted beetroot, pumpkin, sweet potato, mushrooms and capsicum (has more vitamin C than an orange and still retains some of it when cooked)

-Fresh fruit provides valuable antioxidants, vitamin C, some have vitamin A and folate too, all essential for an optimal immune system. Vitamin C can help reduce the severity and symptoms of colds, it can't cure them. Try for two fruit a day and you will generally meet your daily requirement of vitamin C.


To increase your fruit intake:

     
  • Make fruit salad or platters for everyone to share
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  • Add fresh, canned (drain), dried (small amounts) or frozen to breakfast cereal
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  • Poach pears, apples or other fruit for dessert (leave the skin on)
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  • Add fresh and dried fruit to a cheese platter


Eating the recommended adult five servings of vegetables a day is hard we know as 93%of adult Australian’s aren’t doing it. One serve of vegetables is a cup of salad or half a cup of cooked vegetables. Aim to be one who is. Look at the volume of food on your plate and aim for one third to half of it to be vegetables (depending on your energy needs). Meeting the recommend two servings of fruit a day as well will have you well on the way to being well this winter!


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