Cooking for winter wellness is about producing foods that tick all the “comfort” boxes while looking after your health and weight at the same time.
A diet high in plant foods helps boost immunity, strengthen heart and blood vessels and even fights damaging free radicals.
The following foods are particularly useful at this time of year:
Garlic and Onions
These contain sulphur compounds which are said to have anti-microbial and anti-fungal activity. They have long been regarded as immunity boosters.
These are rich in vitamin C which is thought to protect against winter colds. They also contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. While canned varieties have less vitamin C, they are still a good choice in winter when fresh is less available and more expensive.
Citrus Fruits and Green Leafy Vegetables
Both provide vitamin C, which as well as supporting immunity also helps with iron absorption and prevention of anaemia.
Nuts and Seeds
Next time you reach for potato crisps, instead try a small handful of nuts or seeds. Although high in fat, the type of fats they contain are good for the heart and brain. Nuts are also high in protein and fibre which fill and sustain you.
Get into the Soup Habit
There is nothing more satisfying in winter than homemade soup, which can be as simple as cooking vegetables in stock and pureeing. Remember to include immunity-boosting vegetables and hold off on cream or butter.
For a winter warmer everyone will love, try the delicious minestrone soup (below). It tastes great and ticks all the right nutritional boxes.
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