Seasonal Superfoods to Keep You Healthy All Winter Long

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These good-for-you foods are available during colder months
Seasonal Superfoods to Keep You Healthy All Winter Long

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Cooking with these nutrient-dense foods can help keep you healthy, even during cold and flu season.

Search for information on superfoods and you’re likely to find more than you can digest in one sitting. This is due, in part, to the very informal definition of “superfood.” Though there’s some debate about what gives a food superfood status — or even whether there's any such thing — most proponents of the idea agree that superfoods are nutrient-dense, meaning they deliver a large number of nutrients for a relatively low number of calories. Eating even a very small amount of these foods can be beneficial for health and overall well-being. Though some of the most popular superfoods are exotic fruits and warm-weather produce, there are a number of nutrient-dense foods available during the colder months and cooking with these ingredients can help keep you healthy — even during the peak of cold and flu season.

Click here to see the Seasonal Superfoods to Keep You Healthy All Winter Long (Slideshow)

One of the great things about winter superfoods is that many are rich in immune-boosting vitamins; vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc all play a unique role in a healthy and well-functioning immune system.  Root vegetables that are available during colder months like carrots and sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin A-producing beta-carotene (“vitamin A deficiency is associated with impaired immunity and increased risk of infectious disease”) and citrus fruits are often high in vitamin C (which can help reduce the duration of an illness). This is good news when it comes to fighting the common cold and flu.

If you’re looking for a few delicious foods that can help keep you healthy during the winter months (while providing you with a host of other nutritional benefits), try cooking with these easy-to-find ingredients. Many of them are foods that you’re probably already familiar with that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Plus, we’ve got an abundance of tasty recipes starring these wholesome foods.

Avocado

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There’s a reason avocados have become so popular; they’re delicious and loaded with health benefits. A source of “good” fat, avocado can help you absorb more nutrients from other foods and may even help lower “bad” cholesterol. Looking for a few ways to incorporate more avocado into your diet? Click here for our best avocado recipes.

Beets

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From the root itself to the leafy green tops, beets are full of nutrients. The root portion of the beet is rich in fiber and minerals and the tops are a good source of vitamin C. Click here for our best beet recipes.

This story was orginally published on February 4, 2015.