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Winter Grocery List: 5 Foods You Should Eat to Stay Healthy This Winter

There are many amazing things to love about winter…but a walk down the produce aisle isn’t usually one of them. Gone are those juicy summer fruits that give you a natural sweet fix.  Instead of indulging in a chill weather carb fest, it’s time to focus on smart eating in order to boost your immune system during cold and flu season.

Let’s take another walk down that produce aisle. Here are five foods you need to bag and then eat to stay health this winter:

1)CITRUS: You can still have fresh fruit in the winter if you learn to incorporate healthy citrus into your diet. Oranges and grapefruits are extra juicy during this season, cheap, sweet and can be used in a variety of ways. As for the health boost, citrus provides immune system boosting vitamin C, which helps you avoid all that coughing and sneezing. They’re also filled with flavonoids, which lower your risk for cancer. In addition, citrus even lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and gingivitis. Mix it up and add kumquats, blood oranges and clementine to your citrus diet. Remember to add fresh lemon or lime juice to at least two glasses of water a day to get an extra C shot. Try It: Eating just one medium orange will give you 100 percent of your daily C. If you don’t want to just eat an orange, then skip the lettuce and have a pre-dinner citrus salad.

2)POMEGRANATES. One of the most nutritious foods, this heart healthy food not only improves blood flow to your heart, but is also packed with cancer fighting antioxidants while also acting as an anti-inflammatory. One cup daily even works to lower your blood pressure. Try It: Add pomegranate seeds to your cooked veggies like Brussels sprouts, over grilled chicken or throw them in your gym bag for a healthy snack after a workout.

3)DARK LEAFY GREENS. Even if you’ve walked right by them in the past, it’s time to bag some kale, chard and collards during the cold weather month. Greens provide your body with vitamins A, C, K and E while also delivering iron, calcium, manganese, potassium and various antioxidants. Try It: Make a huge pot of veggie soup and load it with greens for an easy and hot lunch. Or add the greens to your eggs in the morning. You can easily sneak them into smoothies or even use them as a wrap for grilled chicken or beef.

4)SWEET POTATOES AND CARROTS. Those orange spuds are not only delicious, but they’re loaded with fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, plus antioxidants. If you’re dieting and avoiding sugar, this low glycemic index food will make you feel full without spiking your insulin levels. TRY IT: On the go? Make several sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week and put them in the fridge. Slice them and eat the cold in the car on the way to work. Or cut in long strips, toss in olive oil and bake at 350 degrees until crispy for healthy sweet potato fries. In a pinch for a quick snack or side. Stuff your precooked sweet potato with feta cheese and cooked greens.

As for carrots, they’re a staple food that transition easily into the winter months and help keep up vitamin A levels in the system. Vitamin A is necessary for mucus membranes, healthy eyes and skin, which often takes a beating from cold and dry winter air. Carrots also provide vitamin C and various antioxidants while helping to prevent cardiovascular disease. Try It: Use this root veggie when you make a big pot of chicken soup. Or juice the carrots for a boost before a workout.

5)BRUSSELS SPROUTS: They’re not just the new “in” food served at trendy restaurants, but these sprouts have earned their way into health-conscious hearts. Packed with antioxidants, Brussels sprouts will even stay good in your fridge for several weeks. Plus, they’re an easy way to create a healthy side dish when you don’t feel like cooking. TRY IT: Cut sprouts in half and toss in olive oil. Roast at 350 degrees until crispy and brown.  Or mix leftover warmed sprouts with cubed, cooked sweet potatoes for a different side.

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