With colder weather setting in, we naturally eat warmer, heavier foods. You may not be eating as many light salads or fruit smoothies as you normally do, but winter has plenty of nutritious foods to offer. Here are 10 Winter Superfoods to include in this season’s diet.
Oatmeal’s most common claim to fame is its power to lower cholesterol levels because of its beta-glucan starch. Oatmeal might also be responsible for reducing high blood pressure and the risk of certain cancers. Along with these health claims, oatmeal is also a source of a wide array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein and fiber. Its great for breakfast topped with honey, chia seeds and fruit.
Carrots and other root vegetables are excellent sources of potassium. They also contain high amounts of vitamin A which help fight off infection and reduce inflammation in the body. Rich in alkaline elements, carrots also help purify the blood. Lightly steam them or eat them raw as a snack with some hummus.
Once criticized for their high cholesterol levels, eggs are now back on the good list and have even gained a reputation of being the most nutritious food on the planet. Eggs are packed full of vitamins, minerals, protein, good fats and amino acids.
Most of us know salmon for its omega-3 benefit, but salmon also contains protein and important unique amino acids. Newer studies suggest that these amino acids support joint cartilage and control inflammation in the digestive tract. Be careful when choosing salmon, wild caught is generally the best.
5. Winter Squash
Like carrots, squash contains high amounts of potassium, supporting your heart and muscles, along with vitamin A, which reduces inflammation. It also contains soluble fiber which helps regulate glucose and cholesterol levels in the blood. Beta-carotene and other carotenoids found in squash prevent cancer cell growth. An easy way to eat squash is to cut it in half and bake in the oven with a little olive oil and sea salt.
Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants. They are also said to speed up cell renewal and boost collagen production, making you look younger. Cut the pomegranate in half and immerse the halves into a large bowl of water. Keeping it underwater, pull the seeds out with a small spoon or your hands.
Garlic has been rightfully doted on for its healing properties for centuries. It’s been said to cure illness, kill bacteria in the body and prevent cancers and heart disease. Garlic boots your immune system, helps with skin irritations, and has even been shown to help prevent hair loss. It’s an all- around health boosting herb that can be thrown in sautéed vegetables, soups, smoothies, and almost anything!
The thick leaves of cabbage will fill you up faster, aiding in weight loss. Cabbage is a great source of Vitamins C and K which boost your immune system and keep your bones strong. Cabbage is a natural source of electrolytes and minerals that control heart rate and blood pressure. Chop it up and add it to a salad.
9. Chia Seeds
They may be tiny, but their benefits are great. They are rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and are said to cut cravings. Put them in smoothies, on salads or mix in with yogurt.
10. Dark Chocolate
Seeds from a cocoa tree are the best sources of antioxidants on Earth. Cocoa is also high in iron, magnesium and copper. It’s good for your heart and your brain and supports the production of serotonin, “the happy hormone.” Make sure you buy dark chocolate with a high cocoa content.