When the temperatures drop, it’s tempting to hole up at home, curl up on the couch with some “comfort” foods and hibernate with Netflix until spring comes around (right? Is it just us?). Since you can’t do that all the time, here are some simple ways to help you stay well until the days grow longer again.
Eat citrus fruits.
I recommend that people eat what’s seasonally available,” says Aynsley Kirshenbaum, MS, a Brooklyn-based nutritionist and personal trainer. “Citrus fruits are in season in the colder months, and they’re really high in vitamin C, which is great for the immune system.”
This super-spice is trendy for good reason. Its anti-inflammatory powers are well known, and it’s also been shown to fight disease and chronic pain, improve digestion and, yes, boost immunity. Since we’re more likely to catch a cold or flu in the winter, taking in more immune boosters like turmeric becomes even more beneficial when it’s chilly outside.
Getting enough turmeric through food alone can be a challenge; supplementing is a good solution. We love Further Food’s Daily Turmeric Tonic as a convenient and tasty way to do that. “The Turmeric Tonic is loaded with anti-inflammatory superfoods and adaptogens. I recommend it to all of my clients, but especially those with a lot of stress,” says registered dietician Megan Kober. “Stress is one of the biggest causes of inflammation in the body, and I like to use the Turmeric Tonic to combat it.”
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Roast some Brussels sprouts.
It’s no secret that Brussels sprouts (in season right now) and their cousins—broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage—are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. Part of the reason why is their disease fighting powers, Kirshenbaum notes. “I like Brussels sprouts because they’re also really easy to work with. They’re small and easy to cook,” she says. Roasting Brussels helps to caramelize them, so their bitter edge softens and they take on a touch of mild sweetness.
Spoon up soup.
“I love to get people to eat warming foods this time of year, to help your body stay warm against the cold and generally help everything run well,” Kirshenbaum says. “One of the best staples to ward off cold and flu season is a hearty, vegetable rich soup. I love to have some sweet potato in there, throw in greens at the end. It’s hearty, filling, warm, real food-loaded, and nutrient rich.”
“One of the best things you can do to keep yourself healthy is to get plenty of rest,”Kirshenbaum says. Research shows that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to catch a cold or virus after they’re exposed, so make sure you get your zzzs.
Try it: 3 Simple Hacks for Better Sleep