Winter is a wonderful season that offers lots of fun activities and spectacular nature scenery. However, winter is also the season for numerous diseases, including cold and flu, which is why it’s so crucial to strengthen your immune system by eating these 8 best winter foods at least every other day. It won’t take lots of time and effort to incorporate these healthy foods into your daily diet. Not only will they improve your immune system, they will also keep your energy high during the cold and frosty winter months.
Who doesn’t like a delicious balance between sweet and tart pomegranates have? Pomegranate is one of the most popular and wholesome foods you should incorporate into your eating plan. You can eat pomegranates plain, add some seeds to your yogurt, salads, or plain water. Moreover, you can drink a fresh pomegranate juice. Drinking a cup of it in the morning helps meet the body’s need for potassium.
Half a cup of pomegranate seeds contains 70 calories, 3.5 grams of fiber and 16 grams of carb, as well as B vitamins and folate. Pomegranate is also rich in powerful antioxidants that can help to prevent some types of cancer, including prostate skin and breast cancers, and can also help reduce your risk of developing heart disease. When buying pomegranates, I always try to choose the heaviest ones, since they seem to be juicier and tastier. I love to drink pomegranate juice in the morning to kick-start my metabolism and boost my energy level.
2. Kiwi fruit
I’m not a big fan of kiwi fruit, but I try to add it to my meals as often as I can since it’s one of the best winter foods to eat daily. I add it to my winter fruit salads, smoothies, Greek yogurt and sometimes to plain water to make it more delicious. Kiwi fruit is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It’s also high in fiber and potassium, and low in calories (a small kiwi fruit contains 40 calories). Kiwi fruit helps strengthen your immune system, and is good for your heart and vision.
3. Brussels sprouts
It may not sound tasty, but it sounds healthy. If you cook Brussels sprouts correctly, you will have the healthiest and tastiest winter meal ever! Brussels sprouts are quick and easy to cook: they take around 8-10 minutes to prepare. You can roast, steam, or saute Brussels sprouts. I think there’s nothing more delicious and comforting than a bowl of hot, creamy Brussels sprout soup! I also love making ravioli with Brussels sprouts and bacon, and bell pepper and Brussels sprout pizza.
Brussels sprouts are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They have anti-inflammatory effect, help boost your energy levels, improve your immune system and prevent cold and flu.
4. Citrus fruits
The winter diet isn’t complete without citrus fruits. From grapefruits, oranges and tangerines to limes and lemons, it’s so easy to find your favorite citrus fruit and eat it more during the winter season. Citrus fruits are delicious and refreshing, and they make a perfectly healthy snack. Citrus fruits are one of the best sources of vitamin C, potassium and folate. Citrus fruits have powerful anticancer properties due to their high content of flavonoids. Add a slice of lemon or lime to your tea or plain water, make fruit salads and juices, or eat them fresh and raw to reap all benefits. But if you are taking any prescription medications, avoid consuming grapefruits (especially grapefruit juice), since it may cause drug interactions and a complication. Consult your doctor to find out more information
Persimmons are among the best winter foods you should be eating now. My family doesn’t love persimmons, so I should always find a unique way to add some persimmons to our meals. I’m a huge green smoothie junkie, and I love adding persimmons to make my green smoothie tastier. I also use them in my desserts, fruit salads, savory dishes, and jams. Persimmons are high in carbs, sodium, dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese and iron, and contain a little bit of fat and protein. They are also plentiful in vitamin C and vitamin A
Cinnamon is a popular spice during the winter season. It provides a hint of warmth and spice to any meal and beverage you make. You can use it in your cookies, pies, pastries, puddings, smoothies, soups (I add a dash of it to lentil and black bean soups), and beverages like hot chocolate, tea and wine. Cinnamon helps boost your immune system, improve your brain function, and is good for your heart health. It contains essential oils that boast powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, cinnamon contains calcium, manganese, fiber, iron, flavanols and antioxidants that help prevent cancer.
This winter, consider using more legumes in your meals to stay healthy and full of energy to achieve your New Year’s resolutions. Legumes contain essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, iron, zinc, calcium, and B vitamins. They can help reduce your risk of developing cancer and heart disease. Opt for kidney beans, garbanzo, pinto beans, lima beans, lentils, and black and white beans. Use them in your winter stews and soups. Legumes can be a good and healthy substitute for meat
8. Sweet potatoes
When eaten in moderation, sweet potatoes make the perfect winter food. Sweet potatoes are fortified with a powerful antioxidant, beta-carotene, which helps prevent cell damage in your body and lower your risk of skin, lung, and prostate cancers. Sweet potatoes also contain carb, fiber, iron, potassium, vitamin B6 and some other essential nutrients. You can make sweet potato soups, bake them and don’t forget about mashed sweet potatoes. My family loves sweet potatoes in a pie as well. In fact, there are so many easy, tasty and quick sweet potato recipes that you will never get bored.
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