18 foods you should eat in winter

There are fewer options of fresh seasoning foods in winter than in summer. But it doesn’t mean you should eat onions with potatoes until March. There are also plenty of superfoods loaded with essential nutrients that you can eat all winter long.

1. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants much more than other fruits – just a cup of pomegranate juice or a whole fruit daily don’t allow free radicals to oxidize “bad” LDL cholesterol (as oxidized LDL contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries) and can reduce the risk of some cancers and lower your risk for heart disease. Eating the fruit or drinking pomegranate juice might also improve blood flow to the heart in people with myocardial ischemia, a serious condition in which the heart’s oxygen supply is compromised because the arteries leading to it are blocked.A 1/2-cup portion of pomegranate seeds has 70 calories, 16 grams of carb, and 3.5 grams of fiber. This fruit alsois rich infolate and B vitamins.

2. Cinnamon

During the cold season we start using cinnamon more often by adding it to desserts, tea or other hot drinks. This flavorful spice contains essential oils that have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Some studies suggest that cinnamon has health benefits for people with diabetes – cinnamon decreased insulin resistance and loweredblood sugar levels up to 29% as well as lowered cholesterol levels.

cinnamon-baked-apple

3. Dark leafy greens

You can easily find fresh dark leafy greens, such as kale, chard and collards during winter. These greens are very rich in vitamins A, C and K. Collards, mustard greens and escarole are also excellent sources of folate.

4. Citrus

Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit, are loaded with vitamin C. For example, one medium orange delivers more than 100% of your daily dose. They are also rich sources of flavonoids. The predominant flavonoid in these fruits – hesperidin – boosts “good” HDL cholesterol and lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.Citrus fruits also contain potassium, a nutrient which is important to electrolyte balance. Plus, these fruits are typically low in calories and rich in fiber (which help stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol levels and keeps youfull). Onemedium-size tangerine contains just 50 calories and almost 2 grams of fiber. A juicy grapefruit makes a perfect 100-calorie snack that contains 4 grams of fiber.

5. Kiwifruit

These green flavorful fruits are loaded with vitamins: they have more vitamin C than oranges, plus they’re high in vitamins A and K. One small kiwi provides just 40 calories, 10 grams of carb, and 2 grams of fiber.

6. Persimmons

These sweet orange fruits are especially delicious in winter. One persimmon contains about 100 calories and 30 grams of carb. They also contain 6 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as well as half your daily need for vitamin A. You can eat them raw, dried, or cooked.

persimmons-date-plum

7. Potatoes

Although potatoes are high in starch, like white rice or white bread, but unlike those other starches, which have been stripped of healthful nutrients, potatoes are a whole food that contains several beneficial nutrients. They are an excellent source of two immunity boosters – vitamins C and B6, delivering 25% and 29% of your daily needs per medium potato, respectively. They are also a good source of folateand fiber (4 grams in a medium potato). Purple potatoes are particularly rich in anthocyanins – antioxidantsthat have lots of health benefits, from lowering cancer and heart disease risk to quelling inflammation. Potatoes also contain such nutrients as potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and even protein. Sweet potatoes are considered a healthier choice since they’re loaded with beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber, but regular potatoes are also nutritious as long as you don’t fry them or mash them with butter and cream.

8. Winter squash

There are many varieties of winter squash, including butternut, acorn, kabocha, delicata and spaghetti squash. One cup of cooked winter squash has few calories (around 80) but is high in vitamin A (214% of the recommended daily value) and vitamin C (33%). They are also a great source of vitamins B6 and K, carotenoids, potassium and folate.

9. Root vegetables

Root vegetables like beets, carrots, rutabagas, parsnipsand turnips can withstand the cold, so you can reap all the benefits of fresh produce even in winter. Carrots are packed with the antioxidant beta-carotene, a compound that converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for a strong immune system and healthy eyes, skin, and mucus membranes. Eating carrots can reduce risk of cancer and even prevent cardiovascular disease. Turnips and rutabagas have the same nutritional perks as other cruciferous veggies (cancer-fighting glucosinolates, vitamins C and K, folate, potassium, fiber, and calcium). Beets contain antioxidants called betalains, which can help fight cancer and other degenerative diseases. They’re also rich in vitamins A, B, C as well as potassium and folate. They’re also a natural source of sugar (about 9 grams per serving).

baked-cooked-root-vegetables

10. Broccoli and cauliflower

These cruciferous vegetables may help you fight winter sickness. Broccoli and cauliflower are both high in vitamin C, which enhances immune function. If you can’t find fresh versions, don’t worry, frozen broccoli and cauliflower are just as nutritious.

11. Cabbage

Cabbage is inexpensive and super-healthy vegetable. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C and K (helps with bone health by increasing bone density and decreasing the risk for osteoporosis), folate, fiber, antioxidants, and anti-carcinogenic compounds calledglucosinolates. Cabbage can help reduce cholesterol and lower risk of cancer and diabetes.There are many varieties of cabbage, including green, red, savoy, bokchoy, and napa. Cabbage will be a great addition to any meal, as it is very low in calories and carbs(just 22 calories and 5 grams of carb per cup). You can use cabbage in many ways: add chopped vegetable to a stir-fry, soup, or salad, wrap your favorite vegetables or lean meats in a cabbage leaf instead of a tortilla, etc.

12. Radicchio

Red and white, slightly spicy and bitter leaves of radicchio are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium. Plus, this leafy veg is extremely low in calories.

raddichio-vegetable

13. Brussels sprouts

A cup of cooked Brussels sprouts has around 60 calories and 11 grams of carb. This vegetable contains potassium, vitamins A, C, and K, and it’s a great source of fiber (4 grams per cup). Like other cruciferous veggies, Brussels sprouts have high levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants that can protect DNA from oxidative damage.You can steam, roast, or saute this vegetable.

14. Onions

These veggies are low in calories, but surprisingly high in vitamin C and fiber. The oils found in onions can lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol. Onions are great for flavoring anything from soup, to salads, pasta, or meat.

15. Oatmeal

Oatmeal provides nutrients that are essential during winter. It’s high in zinc (important for proper immune function) and soluble fiber (good for heart health). A delicious oatmeal with berries, nuts or honey will be a perfect and nutrient-rich breakfast.

16. Soup

Soup is a perfect food in winter. Look for soup recipes with chicken broth, vegetable broth or water as the base and include a lot of vegetables. Pair your soup with a side of 100% whole grain bread or crackers.

17. Salmon and tuna

They are both good sources of vitamin D, which we lack of during the winter months due to limited exposure to the sun. So food sources of this bone-healthy vitamin become even more essential. Plus, these types of fish (and all oily fish) contain super healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which we need all year round.

18. Beef

Lean beef is a great protein source. Beef is also rich in B vitamins and iron. B vitamins help with energy metabolism, while iron is essential for carrying and storing oxygen in the body. Insufficient iron can cause anemia, which will make you feel tired. Keep in mind that the body more readily absorbs iron from meat sources, such as lean beef, than from plant sources.

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