Winter is upon us and gone are the summer fruits and veggies that are boasted to have high antioxidant capability.
Is it me or do they seem to dwindle away just in time for cold and flu season?
Right around the period of the year where you might find yourself at a pageant with a hundred or more small, sniffling children who leak, that one co-worker who spends all day coughing and sneezing (a real trooper, that guy), and the arrival of visiting relatives with their out-of-town germs all over your house.
What’s a health-conscious person (who tries to keep your body mean and clean) to do? How can you protect yourself without summer goodness that overflows in your local produce section?
Have no fear…winter superfoods are here!
Here at Daily Superfood Love, we’ve compiled a list of our seven favorite foods that are readily available and incredibly powerful against the winter germs, flus, and people.
Our 7 Favorite Winter Superfoods
1. Dark Chocolate: Don’t judge. Dark chocolate is outstanding for you and it’s available year-round. Splurge on the good stuff with at least 70% cacao for the best antioxidant pop. This delicious treat is bursting with all kinds of good stuff like zinc, magnesium, and iron that are going to help keep your immune system strong. Also, you might bake a lot this time of year…so throw some dark chocolate in that batter to feel better about it.
2. Frozen Fruit: This stuff is a lifesaver. I get 100% fruit only (no added ingredients) and use it for recipes, smoothies, and homemade ice cream. Being able to get mango, pineapple, and berries (along with other delicious fruits only available in the hot months) when there’s snow on the ground is a huge bonus. Frozen fruit doesn’t lose the natural vitamins and minerals (unlike canned) so you can enjoy those “fresh” berries in your yogurt all year long without worry.
3. Root Vegetables: Now is when carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, and beets are in full harvest. Because they grow under the soil, they absorb tons of wonderful nutrients and minerals other veggies just don’t have (scrub well but don’t peel if you don’t have to). They’re firm in texture so they go well in soups, stews, and roasted. Dice several varieties up, toss them with olive oil, roast them for about 45 minutes on 425º, sprinkle with sea salt, and enjoy. So good and good for you…how can you go wrong?
4. Yogurt: Another food available all year long, this probiotic food is going to help boost your immune system, aid in digestion, and there’s no guilt required. Get those beneficial gut flora up and keep your whole body healthy this winter! Skip the high sugar varieties and sweeten with some of that awesome frozen fruit or a bit of honey. One of my favorite snack foods is plain (unsweetened) Greek yogurt with a cup of berries or pineapple stirred in and drizzled with honey. I think you’ll love it!
5. Winter Squash: Mixing these up with root vegetables for roasting is a choice you’re never going to regret. Sure, pumpkin gets all the attention during the holidays but don’t overlook butternut, spaghetti, and acorn squash if you’re looking for great alternatives to pastas and sweets. They’re easy to prepare, keep well, and inexpensive. They’re packed with vitamin C, folate, fiber, and even omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Pomegranates: I love pomegranates…they’re sweet and delicious. However, I admit that all those seeds (and the staining) aren’t fun. When I was a kid, it was fun to spit pomegranate seeds…not so much as a grown woman. These days, I opt for the 100% natural (nothing added) juice rather than the fruit. It’s available year-round, not very expensive, and has proven to be outstanding for heart health at just a few ounces a day. I also add it to my smoothies on days I’m not feeling almond milk.
7. Garlic: This (spring, summer, fall) winter superfood is listed in many history books and medicinal texts for a very good reason. Garlic is outstanding at preventing sickness and even better at beating up germs once you’re already sick. You can put garlic in just about every main dish for the holiday so buy it fresh or get those wonderful peeled whole cloves (they changed my life) that are cold-packed. Forget the bad breath and focus on destroying bad bacteria, boosting your heart health, and naturally strengthening your blood.
Food is the key to staying well this cold season. There are so many delicious and unbelievably powerful winter superfoods that you can mix it up so you don’t get bored.
With the access to internet recipes and YouTube videos that show you how to cook step-by-step, it’s time to get in your kitchen, experiment with foods that are going to prevent and fight sickness and disease. Start right now…the winter superfoods are calling!
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