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Eat Seasonally With These Nutrient-Dense Winter Foods

December 20, 2021

Winter is a season full of rich earthy foods to harvest and turn into soups and warming meals. What we eat affects us in so many ways and a diet chosen with solid nutrition and high in vitamins is of great benefit in every way! Sometimes we just need a reminder - especially during winter months, to center and return our focus to fresh, real food. 


WINTER NUTRITION TIPS

  • Enjoy your favorite herbal tea or healthier winter latte

  • Eat winter foods from a farmer’s market

  • Drink Just Add Water® probiotic/prebiotic/adaptogenic hot chocolate

  • Do a winter detox

  • Restock your spice cabinet with fresh spices

  • Consider supplementing vitamin D and zinc 

  • Make veggie rich soups



HEALING FOODS FOR WINTER HEALTH

  • BRASSICA - broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens - vitamins A and C, iron, kale, calcium, trace minerals. 

  • PERSIMMONS - vitamins A and C. 

  • PEPPERS - green, red, and yellow - vitamins A and C, bioflavonoids. 

  • CITRUS FRUITS - lemons, oranges - vitamins C and bioflavonoids. 

  • ROOT CROPS - carrots, beets, potatoes, turnips - vitamin A and C, iron, trace minerals. 

  • POMEGRANATES - vitamins A and C. 

  • SEAWEEDS - arame, hiziki, kelp, kombu, nori, wakame - protein, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals. 

  • WINTER SQUASHES - acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, banana squash, hubbard squash, kombucha squash - vitamins A, C, and D. 


Female Founder Chef Serena Poon’s HEARTY VEGAN STUFFED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH QUINOA AND TOASTED PINE NUTS 

Seasonal Eating Winter Foods List

 

EATING FOR IMMUNITY 

During the colder months AKA flu season or time of illness, people often seek special food or vitamin supplements that are believed to boost immunity. Vitamin C, foods like citrus, soups, and tea are common examples of winter nutrition. Yet the design of our immune system is complex and influenced by an ideal balance of many factors, not just diet alone, and especially not just by one certain type of food or nutrient. However, a balanced diet consisting of a range of vitamins and minerals, combined with healthy lifestyle choices like good sleep, exercise, and managing stress, helps the body’s ability to fight infection and disease.   


Incorporating superfoods like kale into your diet on a regular basis can have such a huge impact on your overall health. You can help stave off disease and feel more energized. And when you make a kale salad this delicious, it’s easy to get all those nutrients in!  


Female Founder Chef Serena Poon’s immune boosting kale salad

Female Founder Chef Serena Poon’s immune boosting tea 



Plant Based Sources Of Zinc


HEALTHY HIBERNATION 

This winter, take a hint from mother nature to slow down, rest, and restore! With every season, our bodies take cues from the natural rhythms of nature. In winter, the world slows down, plants become dormant, and some animals hibernate - and we follow. Cold temperatures mean we spend more time inside, mostly in our own homes. Give a little TLC  to our basic needs - food, sleep, air, and light to support our “human hibernation”. Plus, there are a few ways to make your home a healthier space. 


Prepare your space

Along with winter comes cold and flu season, when our respiratory systems become vulnerable to bacteria and viruses that are being passed around. Not only that - allergens can be lurking in the home and reducing airflow, which means dust, dust mites, and pet dander. Making sure your home is clean and toxin-free is an important way to support your immune system. 

  • Use a dehumidifier 
  • Using pillows and mattress protectors and washing bedding frequently in hot water reduces allergens. 
  • Use natural cleaning products to ensure you and your family are exposed to less toxins and harmful residue. 

Stock your pantry 

Making sure you nourish your body through the winter months to function optimally. 

  • Eat seasonally. Root vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, and rutabaga are versatile and packed with nutrients, such as vitamin A, beta-carotene, and potassium. Soups and stews are also hearty, warming, and perfect for cold nights. 
  • It can be hard to get motivated on a cold, dark morning. Set yourself up for success by prepping breakfast the night before - Chef Serena Poon’s overnight oats -  are a great option! 
  • Settle in with a good book and warm up with nourishing hot drinks. 

Nurture your mood 

Winter blues are thought to be a form of seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression, affecting between 1-10% of the general population during winter months. 

  • Light therapy (phototherapy) has been helpful for many and is thought to have a positive influence on serotonin levels. Light therapy used daily for a period can help support mood, along with letting natural light into the house and getting outside on sunny days! 
  • Getting out of the house to exercise in the sunlight can have great effects on mood and immunity. Just 30 minutes of outside exercise daily had been shown to elevate immune cell levels. 
  • Increase your omega-3 intake. 


HEALTHY HABITS FOR EATING MINDFULLY DURING THE HOLIDAYS FROM CHEF SERENA POON


1) Low-vibration foods won’t make you feel good- Food contains energy for your body, meaning it holds vibration. The more nutritious, the higher the vibe! There is a powerful connection between what you eat and your overall well being.

2) Connect with people- When you’re at a holiday gathering, all the yummy treats are a bonus but don’t make them the main event. You’re there to socialize and reconnect. Live, love, laugh, repeat!

3) Chew each bite of food at least 21 times- This does a few things for you: First, you’re aiding digestion by properly breaking down any food before you swallow it, making things easier for your tummy! And second, you’re giving your brain enough time to register all of the food that you’re eating, making you less prone to overeat in a rush, which leads to feeling too full and uncomfortable later.

4) Stay hydrated-  Drinking a glass of water before eating or snacking can often quell your urge to grab something to munch on. Make sure you’re drinking lots of water to help your body feel its best!

5) Fill up on vegetables and fruits- Not only do fruits and veggies have plenty of nutrients, but they also contain fiber, which helps keep you full longer and may leave less room for other high-calorie foods.

6) Be active- A short trip over the holidays doesn’t have to mean taking a vacation from your wellness routine. Pack your workout gear, walking shoes, layers to keep you warm and comfortable, and make a point to fit in some exercise each day.

7) Bring something to the party- Offer to bring a dish you love to the party. Not only will the host or hostess appreciate the gesture, but you’ll also have control over what goes into your food.

8) Modify portions-  Small portions are the secret. Sample a little bit of everything. You definitely don’t need to feel deprived when you’re eating mindfully.



FINAL THOUGHTS 

The weather outside may be frightful, but your diet doesn't have to be! On a chilly day, it's tempting to curl up on the couch with a bowl of canned (salty) soup or finish off all those holiday goodies. That’s why we feel like it's important to help spread winter food goodness for those who may struggle with healthy eating in the cooler months. Keeping your body well nourished in the winter can be difficult, but it’s crucial for fighting off sickness, and maintaining whole body health. 





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