6 Foods to Brighten Your Winter

Winter is (almost) officially here. And while you may not feel like a ray of sunshine all year long, taking advantage of winter-friendly foods can help maintain a healthy complexion and resist the urge to hibernate. Although this isn’t the most abundant season for fresh produce, mother nature has our backs with some cold-weather allies. Keep your mood warm & bright when that chilly air rolls in with these winter wellness foods!

1. Pomegranates

Pomegranate juice contains more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea, or red wine! This fruit is also a natural skin defender. The breakdown of collagen in our cells can set the scene for wrinkle formation, but the phytochemical ellagic acid, found in pomegranates, disrupts this process. (If buying pre-squeezed juice, just be weary of added sugar!)

2. Turnips

Turnips are high in sulforaphane, among other cruciferous veggies like broccoli and brussels sprouts. This compound reduces redness and skin damage caused by UV exposure. Sulforaphane also helps the body combat stress-related inflammation, and the high fiber content of turnips is great for healthy digestion.

3. Walnuts

Walnuts are pretty special. They are the oldest nut known the man, and also the only nut that provides a significant source of Omega-3 - an essential fatty acid that’s incredibly important for brain, heart, and overall body health. Walnuts also produce nitric oxide when we eat them, promoting healthy circulation.

4. Oranges

Peeling an orange may actually boost your mood! Their fragrant oils are known to be mood-lifting, so it’s like a natural form of aromatherapy. Oranges also contain pectin fiber that helps the body detox and can aid in weight loss.

5. Onions

Onions are warming foods, perfect for winter when our digestive “fires” could use a bit of extra fuel. They are anti-inflammatory and full of beauty-boosting phytochemicals as well as vitamin B6 for healthy hair and nails.

6. Sweet Potatoes

Most veggies with an orange color are great sources of vitamin A, and sweet potatoes are no exception. You’ll exceed your daily vitamin A needs with just 1 cup, which is great because it helps regenerate collagen and keeps the immune system healthy. 

These are just 6 of our favorite winter foods, but there are endless options to fit on your plate – like grapefruit, fennel, cauliflower, kiwis, and bananas, just to name a few 😋

Low temperatures cause blood vessels and arteries to narrow, so the body needs to work harder than usual to circulate blood and oxygen when it’s cold out. This is where warming foods and spices come in handy! Amp up the benefits of your nourishing foods with warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, nutmeg, garlic, and mustard. This will help the body absorb the most nutrients from your fruits & veggies and keep digestion strong. Make sure to get plenty of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, chia seeds and olive oil. Fat helps keep blood sugar stable and hydrates the body from the inside out.

Our last piece of cold-weather advice? Take it easy. Winter is the season of rest and restoration. Give yourself permission to take some downtime and relax – you deserve it!

 

*Nutrition information sourced from ‘Eat Pretty’ by Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP.