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FOOD FOR …… Winter Running

From a health and nutritional view point our winter health aims (as a runner) are to protect against winter infections, support the immune function and promote circulation and blood flow in the cold weather.

In this episode we focus on 4 seasonal fruits and vegetables to support health and running performance during the winter months. We outline the nutritional properties of each and consider how they can form part of your meal plan with some menu ideas. Finally, we share an example 1-day meal plan using these 4 winter foods.

The 4 foods we discuss are; Butternut Squash, Cranberries, Pears and Beetroot


Nutritional Properties of Butternut Squash – a great source of carbohydrate, Vitamin C, and B vitamins – supportive of immune system, energy production and soft tissue support.


Nutritional Properties of Cranberries – packed full of phytonutrients, in particular proanthocyanidin (PAC) helpful to prevent and treat infections. Many studies highlight positive effect on urinary tract infections. The key mechanism being that PACs inhibit the adhesion of bacteria to the wall of the urinary tract.


Nutritional Properties of Pears – contain the phytonutrient epicatechin, a compound thought to be involved in the contraction and relaxation of arteries, so supportive of our cardiac cardiac health.


Nutritional Properties of Beetroot – contain nitrates which help promote blood flow and they have been shown to help dilate blood vessels. This helps to enable an increase and efficient flow of oxygen through the blood vessels, which clearly is going to provide us with more energy and for our running. Beet greens are also nutrient dense providing calcium, iron and vitamin C.


Food ideas for butternut squash including, roasted and stuffed with lentils, tofu and vegetables, roasting the seeds for snacks and making soups, risotto and curries


Food ideas using cranberries including, red cabbage with cranberries and apples, cranberry sauce and relish, cranberry and beetroot compote


Food ideas using pears including, pear, goats cheese and walnut salad, as an accompaniment to a cheeseboard, pear and chia jam, poached pears with chocolate, pear compote for breakfast or for a crumble


Food ideas using beetroot including, roasted for a side dish, beetroot hummus, beetroot, apple and coconut soup, a dip made with cannellini beans

(21:00) Check out our suggestions for a 1-day Winter Warming Menu Plan.


· Butternut Squash for carbohydrate, vitamin C, and B vitamins for fuel, energy and supporting your immune system

·  Cranberries for Proanthocyanidin (PAC) to support immune system, protect against infections, especially urinary tract infections

·  Pears for Epicatechin to support blood flow and contraction and relaxation of arteries

·  Beetroot for nitrates to support dilation of blood vessels and efficient flow of oxygen via blood vessels

Related Episodes:

Ep7 Vitamins and Minerals for the Female Runner

Ep14 Endurance Running and the Immune System

Ep 29 Nutrition for Winter Running


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and

advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact

your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

 Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.

Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you’ll join us again. If you’d like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.

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Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen