Winter is a challenging season when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Between the cold weather causing lethargy and sweet treats tempting you during the holidays, diet and exercise can fly out the window. December 21 marks the first day of winter this year, so start it off right by adding healthy seasonal foods to your plate.
At Integrative Nutrition, we believe in eating seasonally to stay in harmony with the earth. In his book, Joshua Rosenthal says that it’s natural for humans to need more fat in the winter, so heavier meals filled with protein, nuts and oils can be beneficial. You may also enjoy grilled (rather than raw) veggies and hearty soups during the colder months, he says. Here, we explore five foods that are freshest this season. Look for them at your local farmer’s market this winter!
We love kale for its impressive serving of vitamins A, C and K, as well as calcium and iron. It also contains tons of copper, which has been shown to burn fat. On a cold winter’s day, you can cook up kale soup to keep warm. We’re into this sweet potato, kale and white bean soup recipe from Wellness Today, and you can add chicken or tofu for extra protein.
Citrus fruits including lemons are at peak freshness in the cold months, and they provide plenty of vitamin C to keep you healthy. In addition, citrus fragrances have been shown to reduce depression. Reach for a cup of honey-lemon tea to keep yourself healthy, happy and cozy this season.
The turnip has made a comeback in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. This root vegetable provides plenty of B vitamins, as well as calcium and fiber. It can also be used as a low-carb substitute for potatoes. Try them as a tasty side dish, like this recipe for roasted turnips with Parmesan cheese and parsley on Today.com.
Antioxidant-rich grapefruit is perfect during cold and flu season. In fact, eating half a pink grapefruit every day has been shown to reduce your risk of the flu by up to 20 percent. If you want grapefruit on the go, reach for a pure grapefruit juice with no added sugars.
Nuts provide your body with healthy fats during winter. And roasted chestnuts are popular during the holidays—there’s even a song about it! Like turnips, chestnuts can be mashed to make a nice potato alternative. Check out this simple chestnut puree recipe from Eating Well.
What’s your favorite winter food? Share with us here!