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January 10, 2022

8 Best Foods to Stay Healthy This Winter

The winter season in Virginia is known for bringing good cheer and beautiful snowfalls, but also a few unwanted guests like colds and the flu. To stay in great spirits AND health this winter, make sure you're eating a well-rounded diet full of nutritious, seasonal foods. To help, we've created a list of 8 foods that you can incorporate into your meals throughout the week. These are all healthy, tasty, and super easy to prepare. So while you may be making cookies and pies with the grandkids, let them enjoy while you boost your immune system, heart health, and more with these great foods. 

1) Root Vegetables - Root vegetables like carrots, beets, and turnips are abundant this time of year and are a great source of vitamins A and C to help boost your immune system. Roast them in the oven or toss them into a soup to get the most of their flavor and nutrients. 

2) Arugula - This bright and peppery green packs a lot in a little bite — and we're not just talking about taste. It is rich in prebiotics to promote gut health, nitrates for a healthy heart, and calcium, potassium, folate, and vitamins C, K, and A to help your immune system fight off those nasty winter colds. Read more about this yummy veggie and where you can find it locally this winter!

3) Cauliflower and Broccoli - In addition to arugula, other cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts have plenty of health benefits, from fighting inflammation to promoting digestive health. And preparing them is so easy. Steaming only takes a few minutes, then drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and you've got a healthy, delicious, and warm side dish to enjoy with any meal. 


4) Steel Cut Oats - There's nothing like a warm bowl of steel cut oats (some call it porridge) on a cold morning. These oats are high in fiber which helps to lower cholesterol and move food more efficiently through the digestive tract. Oats are also a slow-release food, meaning they'll help you feel full, for longer. Dress them up any way you like with plant-based or dairy milk, honey or brown sugar, cinnamon, and fruit, and you'll feel warm and satisfied until lunchtime. 

5) Winter Squash - Another seasonal food that's so easy to cook and healthy for you is acorn or butternut squash. It contains plenty of fiber, magnesium, beta carotene, and vitamins C and B6. Butternut squash soup is a favorite winter comfort food for many people. 

6) Sweet Potatoes - If you love potatoes with your dinner, try swapping them out for sweet potatoes during the winter. Sweet potatoes are naturally... well... sweet, but they are also much more nutritious than regular ones. Packed with fiber, vitamin A, and potassium, these seasonal favorites can ease constipation, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation. If you have a strong desire to cook these into a sugary casserole, try simply baking them and adding a touch of butter or margarine and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Delicious!


7) Ginger - If a cold is going around in your family, or if you already have one, make sure you're getting a daily dose of ginger. This root has been used for centuries to boost immunity and soothe upset stomachs, and incorporating it into your diet is so easy. Slice off a bit and soften it up a bit with a mortar and pestle, then place it in a mug and pour boiling water over top. Add a slice of lemon and a squeeze of honey and you have a natural cold remedy in a cup. 

8) Citrus Fruits - They may taste as bright as a warm summer day, but many citrus fruits are ripest in the winter! Eat an orange a day for a mega shot of Vitamin C to ward off the flu and colds, or squeeze a bit of lemon into every cup of tea. Citrus fruits are also high in phytochemicals — plant-based chemicals that may help reduce the risk of cancer. 

We hope you are enjoying the beautiful winter season with friends and family, and staying happy and healthy, too! For more information on our active adult communities in Greater Virginia, please contact us

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