By Ashley Martens
Winter is settling in, which means temperatures are freezing, the winter winds are bone chilling and all you want to do is hibernate indoors. We don’t blame you! As you adopt winter wellness tips, stay warm this season by enjoying these seven warming foods.
#1 Bone Broth and Meat
Consuming bone broth and meat are both great sources of protein and warmth. Beef, chicken, lamb and venison meat are considered the most warming of protein sources and are best served slow cooked, especially during winter. Beef and lamb are also incredibly nourishing to the body, specifically the kidneys, while bone broth is an excellent protein alternative and is nourishing to the blood, kidneys and liver. Bone broth is also a great source of healthy, healing fats and will help warm you up and keep you satiated on the coldest of winter days.
#2 Cooked Foods
During the winter months, food should always be cooked. Braising, roasting and slow-cooking are some of the best cooking techniques to employ during winter. Bust out the slow cooker and whip up a batch of a hearty homemade soup, a savory stew or a comforting casserole. Soups are especially great at night because they are easy to digest.
#3 Fermented Foods
During winter, it’s important to keep the digestive system fired up and running optimally. Some great fermented foods include:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Beet Kvass
- Coconut Kefir
- Fermented Tempeh
- Raw Sauerkraut
These foods can all help feed your digestive enzymes, ultimately keeping your gut populated with good gut flora.
Tip: When it comes to shopping for fermented foods, make sure you purchase these foods raw and chilled as these conditions allow the good gut bugs to live and thrive. Avoid cooking these foods as high temperatures can kill these bacteria-rich enzymes.
#4 Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are hot, pungent and spicy, all which indicate their heating qualities. They grow in a variety colors, shapes and sizes and can sometimes resemble other vegetables like bok choy or lettuce. A natural diuretic, mustard greens help to expel excess water from the body and can even help with excess mucus. Stuffy nose? Eat some mustard greens to help clear up any congestion.
#5 Root Vegetables
Although vegetables are important to eat all year long, some stand out during the winter months including:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Dark leafy greens like chard, collard greens and kale
Many of these vegetables, specifically beets, pumpkins and turnips are a good source of Vitamin C, so warm up with a savory vegetable soup or stew and give your immune system a boost!
Tip: Beets are a very warming food and can be enjoyed baked or raw. When preparing beets, be sure to leave the beet skin on as this is the part of the vegetable that holds most of the minerals from the soil.
#6 Seasonal Produce
When we eat for the seasons, we are aligning ourselves with the healing energies of that specific season, so as we head into the winter months, focus on warm, earthy foods like:
- Bell Peppers
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
- Winter Squash
The best way to eat for the seasons is to shop the local farmers markets and see what fruits and vegetables are available. Not sure what’s in season? Check out this seasonal produce guide.
#7 Warming Spices
Warming spices are an easy way to stay warm during the cold winter months. Some wonderful warming winter spices include:
- Mulling Spice
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Star Anise
Add these spices to meals or toss them in a mug of your favorite tea for an extra touch of winter warmth.
Stay warm this winter by enjoying these seven foods, perfect for the cold winter weather months.
Meet The Author:
Ashley Martens is a Health and Wellness Writer based in Chicago, IL. With a background in digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more about Ashley and her writing over at her blog, Three to Five a Day.