What are the best winter foods to stay healthy?

What are the best winter foods to stay healthy?

Just because it's getting colder and darker outside doesn't mean you can't keep up your healthy eating habits.

Those cravings for comfort food might be getting stronger, leaving you with the temptation to abandon your good habits. But there are still plenty of ways your body can get all the nutrients it needs.

Here are some seasonal meals you might like to try.

Vegetable soup

Soup is relatively easy to make yourself, so you can also get your five-a-day without travelling too far. Start with a good, solid base such as carrots; leeks; green beans or kale.

All of these vegetables provide you with vitamin C, which is great for helping the body to fight off winter bugs.

Winter salads

Salads may seem to be more of a summer meal, but there's no reason why you can't take advantage of seasonal vegetables to come up with some nutritious options for the winter.

According to BBC Good Food, beetroot greens in particular are often overlooked, even though they can be used in salads in the same way as spinach. They contain vitamins A and C, along with calcium and iron.

Meanwhile, roasted butternuts and parsnips can bring that bit of warmth you're looking for in a winter meal. These vegetables are a good source of vitamin C. The former is also rich in protein, while the latter contains potassium, which can help to control your heart rate and blood pressure.

Are baked potatoes healthy?

You might be forgiven for thinking that because they certainly tick the comfort food box, that baked potatoes might be something to be avoided if you're aiming to stay healthy.

However, this isn't necessarily the case. The key to eating a baked potato that is good for you often depends on your filling. Simply adding a mound of cheese to your spud, for example, won't help you reach your healthy eating potential.

Instead, why not try some of these alternative toppings:

  • Mixed bean salsa
  • Tuna
  • Leek and soft cheese

Mixed beans are a great source of protein, as is tuna. This fish can also provide you with omega-3 fatty acids, which offer a wide range of health benefits.

Finally, by using soft cheese you are opting for a low-fat food, which can be combined with leeks to create a tasty, creamy supplement to your potato.

Remember to eat the potato skin with this meal, as it's full of fibre, which the NHS says is an important part of a healthy diet.

Health and safety advice for the kitchen

It's important to remember to be careful when using your kitchen to prepare any meal. Some handy tips include:

  • regularly washing your hands, work surfaces and utensils
  • cooling leftovers before placing them in the fridge or freezer
  • not reheating meals more than once
  • ensuring meals are hot all the way through when reheating

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