5 Healthy Foods to Get You Through Winter
Think salads are only for hot summer days? Well, think again. Even though the cold weather outside tempts us to eat delicious, unhealthy treats, you should know that fruits and vegetables should have priority especially if you want to boost your immune system and stay away from unwanted seasonal illnesses.
With dreary days just around the corner we already think about coughing, fever, flu, and other diseases that seem rather unavoidable during this period. Still, remember that there are things you can do in order to avoid common colds, sore throats, and the attack of different viruses or bacteria. The answer is a healthy diet based on foods rich in nutrients that are good for your winter health.
Imagine that one half cup of Brussels sprouts provide more than 80% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. In this context, we can say that these cruciferous vegetables are one powerful cold-fighter. Besides, they are high in phytonutrients, which protect against cancer and are a great source of potassium, iron, folate, fiber, and magnesium.
When it comes to the health benefits associated with Spirulina, the list is endless. Low in calories, this blue-green algae is rich in proteins (about 60%), vitamins A, B complex, D, K, minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, sodium, potassium,and phytonutrients. Moreover, Spirulina is the richest beta carotene food with a full spectrum of ten mixed carotenoids. Spirulina protects from oxidant stress and boosts the immune system, and studies show it is beneficial for the heart and brain as well.
Grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C and therefore it is great for fighting cold. However, this is not the only phenomenal ability of this subtropical citrus fruit. Grapefruits don’t just reduce cold symptoms but also the risk of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. Moreover, pink and ruby red grapefruits contain lycopene, a carotenoid that gives them the rosy color and which has anti-tumor properties.
Chestunts are among the only nuts that contain vitamin C which makes them a healthy choice to get you through winter and fight against colds and viruses. They are also a good source of B vitamins, folate, magnesium, manganese, calcium, zinc, and copper. Chestnuts are cholesterol-free, low in sodium and high in dietary fiber, so they are the optimal choice for people who want to lose weight and for those with heart diseases.
Surprisingly or not, cinnamon is one of the spices with the highest antioxidant levels. Therefore, it will help you protect your body against unpleasant winter colds. In addition, cinnamon is an excellent source of manganese, dietary fiber, iron and calcium. It has anti-inflammatory properties, restores energy and stimulates circulation, and may also reduce cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. Still, remember that cinnamon is known to be toxic in large doses.
Photos courtesy of Thinkstock Photos