5 Nutritious Ways to Stay Healthy this Winter

| WRITTEN BY: Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to give up on nutritious eating during winter. So, here are some of my favorite winter foods to stay healthy this season.

Thanks to the glistening snow, frosty mornings, and cozy fires, winter is a season unlike any other. As gorgeous as this time of year can be, the dropping temperatures can make it hard to stay motivated for all things healthy. Try these healthy ideas for ongoing motivation.

Warm up a cup of tea.

When the temperatures drop, it’s tempting to grab a specialty coffee or hot chocolate to chase away the gloom. But instead of indulging on those high-caloric beverages, try cozying up to a warm cup of tea instead! Not only will you get a pleasant herbaceous flavor, but you’ll save on calories while combating chilly fingers. Plus, there are a multitude of flavor options to choose from, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Increase your soup repertoire.

Cold meals during wintertime are never fun for anyone, which is why soups are my go-to right now. There are so many different things you can incorporate into soups, but I enjoy using recipes that utilize sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, and/or spices. Not only do these taste delicious, but they adds a burst of nutrition to a seasonal favorite. Plus, the addition of vitamins and minerals will help keep you and your family healthy all season long!

Utilize kitchen gadgets.

One of my favorite things to do in the winter is utilize my crockpot. With so many different recipe options available, this has quickly become a staple in my kitchen. Thanks to the easy prep time and fast cooking options, you don’t have to worry about dinner throughout the day. From soups to chicken dinners and breakfast to veggie dishes, you name it, the crockpot can do it! Not only is it a nutritious dinner option, the food is always warm, which is a necessity for wintertime.

Get creative with vegetables.

It’s hard to want to eat cold salads during the winter months, so instead of neglecting vegetables altogether, go ahead and get creative. There are a myriad of options that allow you to enjoy green produce during this time of year while still keeping you warm. Some of my favorite techniques include roasting, steaming, and stewing — I’ve found that these three cooking methods still provide flavor without sacrificing nutrition or warmth. You can also try a warm salad for an easy dinner that is sure to please everyone.

Don’t forget the sunshine vitamin.

With the dreary weather and gloomy atmosphere, winter has a tendency to weigh us down, so combat any negative feelings with nature’s happy pill. Vitamin D is naturally obtained through sunlight, but with the lack of sun this time of year, many find it easier to consume foods (or supplements) that contain a high daily value percentage. Vitamin D is found in fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon), cheese, and egg yolks, as well as in vitamin D fortified foods (dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals), so make sure to include a few of these in your daily diet to meet your nutritional requirements.

What are some of your favorite foods to eat this winter? I’d love to hear from you!

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