Focus on Nutrition

6 Foods to Help You Stay Healthy this Winter

orange, grapefruit, lemon


Balanced nutrition is important all year long, but should take center stage in the winter months when germs, colds, and flus abound. According to Registered Dietitian and nutrition expert for TOPS, Dena McDowell, the following 6 foods can help you stay healthy this winter.

  1. Fish: Choosing fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, sardines and salmon will help increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s are protective fats that help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods on a regular basis can reduce the risk of developing acute illnesses such as colds and viruses and can also lessen your chance of developing chronic health problems such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
  2. Garlic: Whether eaten raw or cooked, garlic contains a powerful phytochemical (compound produced by plants) known as allicin. Research shows that people who consume garlic regularly get sick less often compared to their non-garlic-consuming counterparts.
  3. Pomegranates: The seeds of a pomegranate are rich in many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and magnesium. Pomegranates are also naturally rich in fiber and a phytochemical called punicalagin, which helps promote circulation and blood flow. Eating pomegranate seeds can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the risk of many forms of cancer. This immune-boosting food is a must during the winter months.
  4. Oranges/Lemons/Grapefruit: The whole citrus group as a class is a huge contender for providing the most immune benefit. Citrus fruits are naturally high in vitamin C and potassium. Research shows that, although eating citrus fruits may not prevent a cold from occurring, it can definitely lessen the duration and symptoms.
  5. Squash & Pumpkins: These winter root vegetables are easy to find at this time of year. Jam-packed with vitamin A, magnesium and potassium, these veggies are a great choice to replace white potatoes on your dinner plate. Pair with apples, or spice with cinnamon or nutmeg to further pack a nutrition punch.
  6. Water: Even though we don’t consider this a food, water is essential to our well-being. A good rule of thumb is to drink about half* your body weight in ounces per day to help your body function at its full potential.

*The information presented is educational and should not substitute for the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider. The information may not suit an individual’s particular health situation.