5 Foods To Eat This Winter To Stay Healthy

I really hope you and your family have been staying healthy this year. We have already gotten the stomach flu that has made its way through the whole family.

  1. Honey

Honey may be the answer for soothing nighttime coughs. I don’t know what it is, but it seems coughs are like Batman--you don’t see them all day, but suddenly, once the sun goes down, they are out in full force. Okay, that was a bit of a stretch, perhaps. I have a four year old son who loves superheroes, so forgive me. Batman is talked about a lot in this house!

Needless to say, honey has actually become quite mainstream as a safe and effective alternative to cough syrup for children over the age of one. So you can give your little ones a teaspoon or two before bedtime to help ease coughing and give them the gift of a better night’s rest when they are sick.

Of course it is also great for grownups too. We’re the ones who really do have to show up as superheroes at home or at work, in sickness and in health. Add a tablespoon or two to a cup of hot tea before bed to soothe your throat.

2. Cocoa

Give yourself permission to have that occasional cup of hot cocoa when it’s cold out. Did you know that cold weather can actually raise blood pressure? This is because lower temperatures cause vessels to constrict. Higher blood pressure could increase your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke while out doing something such as shoveling the sidewalk.

Australian researchers found that those who consumed chocolate rich in flavanols once a day for several weeks experienced a slight drop in blood pressure of about two to three points.  Stick to really dark chocolate or cocoa.

3. Acai

Acai, which is the purple berry found in Brazil and other southern climates, is one of the best at fighting the oxidative stress that comes from a winter-impaired immune system. Emory University researchers have found that acai actually beats supplements such as vitamins, coenzyme Q10 and lutein in maintaining quality of life and extending life span.

More proof that it is always best to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals from real foods, if possible. Costco now has a delicious Acai bowl, FYI.

4. Variety-Filled Plate of Vegetables

This is pretty interesting--adults are more likely to eat more vegetables if they have a variety of them on their plate instead of being offered just one vegetable. Plus, each kind of vegetable offers its own sources of different vitamins and minerals, so you are getting more of a variety of those as well. It’s a colorful win-win!

5. Berry Sunshine

Many people suffer from manic-depressive mood disorders in the wintertime. It can be hard to get your dose of Vitamin D from the sun when it’s really cold outside and conditions are bad. The great news is, that scientists have found that the chemicals in blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, among other foods, mimic the effects of valproic acid, a drug prescribed for those suffering from manic-depressive mood disorders. Frozen ones work great if you can’t find fresh in your area right now.

So there are 5 things to try and incorporate in your diet this winter to help your immune system and mind stay healthy and happy. I think these are delicious foods (I mean dark chocolate?! Sign me up!) and manageable ones to try to incorporate, even if you are already feeling under the weather. Happy and healthy blessings to you and your family this beautiful time of year :)

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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com

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