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Ten ways to enjoy nutrient-dense winter foods

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Winter is a time of hibernation in nature. For humans, this can make shopping for fresh produce feel stark and desolate.

If you find yourself missing the sweet strawberries and ripe tomatoes of summer, don’t fret. Winter offers an abundance of nutrient-dense foods that can take your season from drab and boring to delicious and nutritious.

Here are ten ways to liven up your diet with vitamins, antioxidants, flavonoids, minerals, fiber, and more.

1. Cacao hot chocolate. Swap traditional high-sugar hot chocolate to one made from cacao nibs or dark chocolate with at least 75% cacao. Enjoy the methylxanthine benefits of this superfood such as balanced mood and healthy lung function.

2. Bone broth with mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Keep the bones from the chicken you roasted or the steak you broiled and simmer them for 4-6 hours in water with a variety of mushrooms, sliced onions, and chopped garlic along with any other desired vegetables and/or herbs. Use the broth as a foundation for soups and stews or enjoy as a warm beverage. Your immune system will thank you.

3. Matcha morning waffles. Add a little excitement to your weekend brunch by including matcha powder in your waffle or pancake mix. These powerful antioxidants are great for everything from your skin to your heart.

4. Stew with lentils or beans. A good winter stew is welcoming after a cool day outside. Add lentils or beans to increase fiber intake and receive valuable vitamins such as zinc, iron, and magnesium.

5. Winter greens smoothie. Support the liver and calm inflammation by adding dandelion greens, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, or mustard greens to smoothies, soups, sauces, or stews.

6. Pomegranates. These juicy fruit seeds are chock full of polyphenols and antioxidants that are known to promote healthy fertility, immunity, the heart, and even oral health. Add them to salads or snack on them for a tart and energizing way to excite the palate.

7. Adaptogen tea. A piping cup of tea is an excellent way to warm up during cooler months, and one made from adaptogen herbs can help manage stress at the same time. Try holy basil (also known as tulsi), moringa, nettles, or a combination of adaptogens.

8. Freshly squeezed juice. Forgo juice from concentrate and opt for squeezing your own.  Grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, and lemons are all ripest in winter and can make for a refreshing and powerful cup of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. For the greatest effect, make sure the pulp is included.

9. Roasted root vegetables. Squash, parsnips, beets, carrots, and rutabagas are all fiber- and antioxidant-filled winter vegetables that can be roasted and enjoyed on their own or added to everything from soups and stews to sauces and smoothies. 

10. Fermented foods. Promote good gut health throughout the season with fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kefir, and kombucha. These foods store easily in the winter months and can balance the gut’s microflora to support immunity when colds and flu are on the rise.

Are you ready to invigorate your winter diet with flavor and nutrients? Take these ideas as inspiration to explore what the season has to offer and try new foods as you reap the health benefits.