Hold the bread basket! Here’s 10 winter superfoods you should be eating instead. And fear not – carbs are still on the menu!
Hold the bread – keep the garlic. This flavoursome superfood contains vitamins C and B6, manganese, selenium and other antioxidants. Garlic has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of illness and disease. Get some into your winter diet to start reaping the cold-fighting benefits!
Carrots contain high amounts of beta carotene which the body converts into vitamin A – a key nutrient that helps to boost immunity and protect against infection. But that’s not all! Carrots are also a natural prebiotic. Since carrots do not digest fully in the stomach, it encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines which have the ability to increase metabolic activity. Better still, carrots can be used to cook up a whole heap of delicious winter warming recipes like carrot soup, carrot muffins and carrot fritters. Yes please!
Eggs are a great source of protein, zinc and iron, as well as vitamins A, B and D (to name a few!). This impressive dietary profile makes them one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Use them to make omelettes, frittatas or pancakes. They’re also a great choice for a quick dinner or a snack on the go – a superfood winner all round!
We told you there would be carbs on the menu! Oats have one of the lowest GI’s of all grains and they provide a substantial amount of soluble fibre called beta-glucan. But not all oats are made equal – opt for the coarsest wholemeal oats you can find rather than the ‘quick cook’ varieties.
- Dark chocolate
Looking for a mood lift? Bring on the dark chocolate! Cacao-based dark chocolate is one of the best natural sources of antioxidants, iron, magnesium and zinc you can find. Its antioxidant properties have been shown to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and boost overall heart health. You don’t need to tell us twice! But if your focus is on your waistline, you’ll still want to eat this superfood in moderation. If you can’t find pure cacao, make the switch to dark chocolate that’s 70-85 % cacao – the higher percentage indicates a higher amount of cacao in the product.
- Chia Seeds
They may only be small but chia seeds pack a big punch! Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, these little critters and also said to cut cravings and they may be the secret weapon you need to avoid that 11am bakery run! Mix them in with your oats, sprinkle them on your yoghurt or pack them into your morning smoothie to kick start your day! Just one tablespoon of these seeds will give you 19% of your daily-recommended value of fibre, and about 7-9% of your daily value of calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Cauliflower is a solid source of vitamin K and a great substitute for starch. Most importantly during winter, you can use this superfood to trick yourself into thinking you’re eating your favourite carb-loaded foods! Think cauliflower fried rice, cauliflower pizza base and cauliflower mash. Yum!
The perfect burst of colour and flavour on a dark day! Mandarins are at their peak during winter and in addition to their immunity boosting qualities (thanks to our good old friend Vitamin C), they also help to lower blood pressure levels, curb the production of cholesterol in the body and keep us feeling fuller for longer. Did we mention that they are also great for the skin and popular for fighting signs of ageing?! A true winter superfood that is great for your body – inside and out.