We all tend to eat more during the colder months. The body naturally needs more calories to get warmed up and adapt to the new weather conditions. In addition to that, the weather doesn’t allow for as much physical activity as during summer and springtime, which can lead to long autumn and winter nights, snacking in front of the TV.
We have compiled a list of 12 of the healthiest, non-waistline adding meals you can make during these super cold months of winter.
Keep reading! You will want to add these to your meals this winter again and again. We guarantee that they will be a hit with both family and friends – maybe even grandma!
1. Figs and Dates
When your sweet tooth starts calling, don’t bring out the fudge, bring out some dried figs or dates. Figs are high in sugar, but it is natural sugar and they do have lots of fiber. Dates are also a terrific source of potassium and fiber. You can add dates to salads or as a topping to fruit dishes, or just eat a handful after a meal. You will never regret adding these to your winter table.
These super healthy fruits are available fresh during the fall and winter months. Low in calories, high in vitamin C and fiber, they can be made into your own healthy juice, put in salads, muffins, or frozen so that you can have some of these tart little favorites anytime you like, no matter how cold it might be outside.
3. Sweet Potatoes
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Forget those boring white potatoes, sweet potatoes not only have a great deal more flavor, but they are vastly superior when it comes to nutrition. Sweet potatoes have potassium, manganese, fiber, protein, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin A. You can use them as side dishes, desserts, or a really nice change of pace from plain old mashed potatoes. Try baking sliced sweet potatoes in a drizzle of olive oil for some super tasty French fries that even your kids will love!
4. Apples and Pears
Although you might think that these are just for the early fall, apples and pears are a terrific source of fiber, are high in vitamin C, and make terrific desserts all winter long. Cut them open and bake them with some cinnamon and nutmeg for a healthy dessert you won’t be able to resist.
Winter squash makes one of the best wintertime meals, hands down. It has a sweeter flavor and finer texture than summer squash. It’s also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is best to bake them or grill them so that your squash maintains as much of its nutritional value as possible. Don’t know how to prepare it? Look online for hundreds of creative ways to use winter squash as your main course.
6. Citrus Fruits
OK, citrus fruits seem to scream “Summer!” but they can bring a bit of sunshine into your life on a cold, dreary winter day. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C and are high in fiber. Try some blood oranges, pink grapefruit, mandarin oranges or tangerines for a real wintertime treat.
Of course, most people only think of pumpkins in one of two ways:
This doesn’t have to be the case, however. Pumpkins are actually a type of squash, which makes them a very healthy choice for wintertime meals. Pumpkins are loaded with iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, and potassium. Pumpkins already contain a great deal of natural sugar, so try to avoid adding more sugar to them in recipes.
These are really great winter vegetables that are super versatile. You can make them as a side dish, add them to soups or stews, or for a change of pace from potatoes, try boiling and mashing them in the same way you would potatoes. They are a terrific source of vitamin C, have been shown in studies to lower cholesterol levels, and even fight cancer. Pretty good for one little white vegetable!
Beets are another very healthy side dish that your family will really come to love. They are high in potassium, iron, and vitamin C, not to mention fiber. Beets are naturally sweet and most people enjoy them best roasted. Be on the lookout, however, as most beets are GM products. Be certain that you are buying organic beets for the best possible health.
Cabbage does not get the attention or fanfare that it deserves! This crunchy veggie is a well-known cancer fighter that is super versatile. It is loaded with a wide variety of nutrients, vitamins, and even has anti-inflammatory compounds. Use it in salads, the ever-famous coleslaw, in soups, sandwiches, stews, casseroles, and stir-fries or in any recipe that calls for lettuce.
One of the great things about carrots is that, even if you cook them, they retain all of their valuable nutrients. Carrots become softer and sweeter once you cook them. They are one of the best sources of vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, and B6. They even have thiamin and potassium, not to mention healthy, cancer fighting fiber. Grate them, slice them, dice them, bake them, or just munch on them as is, you simply cannot go wrong with carrots. Remember that it is easier to keep your weight stable than to try to lose weight later on!
An overgrowth of gut-bacteria has been linked to obesity and weight gain, so flourishing your healthy populations of bacteria in the gut with foods like kimchi can help you maintain a healthy weight, Metsovas says. “Kimchi is similar to sauerkraut, although many times people might prefer the Asian-like taste with their meals—I love kimchi!”
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