Superfoods to Keep You Warm and Healthy this Winter
Vitamin C rich fruits
Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. These fruits are great to have during winter, when the cold and flu season hits. Oranges are good examples of citrus fruits. An orange contains more than 100% reference daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C, the average daily intake level required.
Apples are also a good source of vitamin C, despite containing only 14% of the RDI. Apples are also easier to eat. When eaten with the skin on, it delivers antioxidant benefits that help keep our arteries clean, lower cholesterol levels, and regulate blood sugar.
Nuts are widely available and can be kept at room temperature, making them ideal as on-the-go snacks. These little gems generate heat within our body, making them a perfect snack during winter. Though nuts contain a significant amount of calories, you don’t have to worry since we burn them faster at cold temperatures.
Some nuts even contain vitamin C, like chestnuts. Chestnuts have an astounding 30% - 45% RDI of vitamin C, and unlike other nuts, they are almost fat-free. They are soft and contain a high dose of fiber to keep you full.
They may look like mini cabbages, but don’t let the size fool you. These tiny greens are so packed with nutrients that one cup can get you as much as 150% RDI of vitamin C and 250% RDI of vitamin K. Studies have even shown that Brussel sprouts can help manage diabetes. Though not known for their taste, Brussel sprouts can still be tasty if cooked properly.
A convenient breakfast food, oats are high in fiber, protein, and fat. It contains large amounts of beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that can lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Oats are also filling, making you feel full longer. Make your oats healthier by adding nuts or fruits on top.
Ginger is among the world’s healthiest spices. It has a long history of use in various forms of traditional and alternative medicine. Ginger is high in gingerol, a substance with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also what gives ginger its unique fragrance and flavor. A little ginger goes a long way. Incorporate it with your dishes or steep it in hot water as tea.
Root vegetables take longer to digest, which can raise your body temperature and make you feel warm.
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. They contain 386% RDI of vitamin A, improving eyesight and boosting the immune system.
Like the sweet potato, Carrots hold a considerable amount of vitamin A. They are low on calories, low on sugar, and high in fiber.
Winter means sore throat, cough, and cold is in season. Luckily we have honey that can keep all these health problems at bay. This gold liquid has vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system tremendously. Having a spoonful of honey in warm water can help keep winter health problems away. Despite having no fat and no cholesterol, it is 80% sugar and should still be taken in moderation.
Compared to their summertime relatives, winter squashes has a denser texture. They are reasonably low in calories but high in betacarotene. A half-cup of winter squash can give 15% RDI of vitamin C and 110% RDI of vitamin A.
Winter squash varieties include Acorn, Banana, Butternut, Delicata, Kabocha, and Pumpkin.
This green superfood is loaded with vitamins. It is among the most nutrient-dense foods out there. A cup of raw kale can get you 206% RDI of vitamin A, 134% RDI of vitamin C, 26% RDI of manganese, and 684% RDI of vitamin K. It also includes calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin B6. These are coming from 33 calories, 6g of carbohydrates, and 3g of protein.
There are plenty of varieties, ranging from the curled-leaf to the flat-leaf kales. With all of these health benefits, you should add Kale to your menu at least once a week.