Its January, its cold, its gloomy and we're all feeling the guilt from over indulging at Christmas however with the right nutrition we can banish both the bloat and the blues and get the New Year off to a healthier, happier start. Shape.com has the low down on 8 of the best winter superfoods to see you through the cold winter months.
If your plate was a crown, there's no doubt that veggies would represent its most precious jewels. They're responsible for reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers as well as helping manage your weight and yet still many of us just don't eat enough! In winter, when salads are not as inviting as a warm comfort-food meal, you can get to the root of this deficit by adding some root veggies to your diet. These superfoods grow underground and absorb nutrients from the soil. Don't be fooled by their rough exterior—root vegetables are some of the healthiest and most delicious foods around! So when the temperature drops, warm up with these produce picks to get a jump start on your daily veggie quota.
This brightly colored root vegetable is chock full of essential nutrients including folate, vitamin C, potassium, and iron, all of which help boost immunity, aid nerve and muscle function, and support natural detoxification. Beets also contain potent antioxidants called betalains, which have disease-fighting anti-inflammatory properties.
Try it: Fresh beets make a great addition to any salad, or make them the star of the plate by pairing slices with goat cheese and pine nuts. But be careful when handling raw beets. Unless you want your hands to match your pink sweater, you'll want to wear gloves to prevent stained fingers.
You might not think of this sushi sidekick as a vegetable, but ginger is a powerhouse root veggie that's packed with medicinal qualities such as antimicrobial properties and anti-nausea benefits. Additionally, a chemical in ginger called Gingerol helps decrease inflammation and blocks nerve pathways that process pain.
Try it: Aside from steeping powdered ginger in your tea, you can add fresh ginger root to your vegetable stir-fry to give your plate some extra zing.
Carrots also contain loads of vitamin A for healthy eyes, on top of fiber for good digestion. Plus, this crunchy veggie carries vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron, and potassium, all of which are important for fighting off germs during cold and flu season.
Try it: Carrots are so popular because they're tasty raw as a snack, and cooked as a side dish. Blended, carrots also make a great base for creamy soups without the, well, cream (like in this Spicy Curried Carrot Soup).
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