Jan 16, 2023 Soup to Nuts: 5 Foods to Keep You Healthy This Winter

Healthy foods are healthy all year long, but winter tends to be harder on our bodies and on our immune systems than more temperate seasons, so it’s important to make every protein, fat and carbohydrate calorie count. Here are five healthy foods to help sustain you until spring.

1. Oatmeal

There really is something to the idea of starting the day with a hot, wholesome breakfast—especially on a frosty morning. Oatmeal (preferably not the instant kind, which is highly processed) is a great choice. According to Registered Dietitian Deanna Schweighardt, RDN, CDCES, “It’s high in soluble fiber, which is good for heart health; it has a low glycemic index unless you load it with sugary toppings, so it won’t spike your blood sugar; and it has many nutrients, including zinc, which is important for immune function.”

2. Nuts and Seeds

These nutrition powerhouses have it all. Besides being delicious, they’re a great source of protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals. Eating nuts and seeds regularly is associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. They can also reduce inflammation and may help improve cholesterol. Among the healthiest nuts are walnuts, pistachios and almonds. Healthy (and fun-to-eat) seeds include pumpkin and sunflower seeds. One caveat: They’re all calorie-dense, so watch your portions.

3. Root Vegetables

These vegetables that grow under the ground are generally nutritious, delicious, low in fat, high in fiber, rich in complex carbs and packed with vitamins like A, B and C as well as minerals such as potassium, iron and manganese. Root vegetables include onions, garlic, shallots, carrots, turnips, beets and sweet potatoes.

4. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, an important antioxidant that can help boost your immunity. Studies show it may also help lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease. “One navel orange contains 82 milligrams of vitamin C,” says Schweighardt. “The recommended daily allowance for men is 90 milligrams a day; 75 milligrams for women.” It’s best to get vitamin C from whole foods.

5. Chicken Soup

It’s not a myth: Chicken soup really does help when you’re under the weather. Why wouldn’t it? It’s got lean protein, healthy vegetables and clear broth which can relieve nasal congestion and help you stay hydrated, too. Plus, it just tastes good and warms you up inside.