8 Foods to Keep You Warm and Boost Immunity

The refreshing, tangy flavors of citrus fruits are a welcomed departure from the hearty and often heavy winter meals. They add a zesty twist to your palate and elevate your mood, which can be a real mood-saver during the gloomy winter months. Citrus fruits also contribute to hydration, another essential aspect of winter wellness, as they have high water content to help keep you properly hydrated, even when you might not feel as thirsty in the cold. So, enjoy these juicy, immune-boosting treasures throughout the winter season, and relish the taste of health and vitality.

Nuts and seeds are nutritional powerhouses, especially during the winter months. Varieties like almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds offer a generous dose of essential nutrients that can help keep you warm and healthy through the colder seasons. These tiny packages of goodness are packed with healthy fats, serving as a fantastic source of sustained energy to combat the winter chill. Additionally, they are rich in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant known for its immune-boosting properties and its ability to maintain skin health (2). By incorporating nuts and seeds into your winter diet, you are not only staying warm but also nourishing your body from the inside out.

Winter squash, with its hearty and comforting nature, is an abundant and nourishing staple during the colder months. Varieties like butternut and acorn squash offer a multitude of health benefits. These nutrient-dense foods are notably rich in beta-carotene, a precursor to

(3). Once consumed, your body efficiently converts this beta-carotene into the essential nutrient, vitamin A. This vitamin is a key player in maintaining the health of your skin and mucous membranes, making it a valuable shield against infections. So, by indulging in winter squash dishes, you not only savor the season’s delicious offerings but also fortify your body against the wintertime wellness challenges.

Salmon, particularly during winter, emerges as a stellar addition to your nutrition. This fatty fish stands out due to its impressive array of health benefits, perfectly aligned with the seasonal need for nourishment and warmth. What makes salmon remarkable is its abundant content of omega-3 fatty acids (4). These essential fats possess potent

, capable of fortifying your immune function when colds and flu often prevail.

Moreover, omega-3s offer an additional winter advantage. They help maintain skin hydration. In colder climates, when the air tends to be dry and harsh, preserving your skin’s moisture barrier is crucial. Omega-3s work from within, acting as an internal moisturizer that keeps your skin supple and protected. This dual action of bolstering your immune system and providing warmth from within makes salmon an ideal winter menu choice.

Spice Up Your Winter Wellness with Saffron, Turmeric, Cinnamon, and Ginger

Spices aren’t just delightful flavor enhancers; they also play a significant role in elevating your winter well-being. The quartet of saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger, each with its unique set of advantages, can help you navigate the colder months with ease.


Turmeric, distinguished by its vibrant golden hue, harbors a precious component called curcumin. This compound wields powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, effectively supporting your immune system (5). When the winter season brings threats of colds and flu, turmeric acts as a formidable shield, helping your body fend off these potential health concerns.

Cinnamon, renowned for its warm and comforting aroma, distinctively contributes to your winter health. It plays a pivotal role in regulating blood sugar levels (6), which can be particularly challenging during the holiday season when sweet treats abound. By helping maintain steady blood sugar, cinnamon ensures that your energy remains stable, avoiding those energy dips that often accompany winter snacking.

Ginger, with its zesty kick, is a trusted aid for your digestive system (7). Digestive issues can become more pronounced during winter, and ginger steps in as a reliable companion. It aids in digestion and effectively combats nausea, a common concern in the colder months.

Saffron, known for its luxurious and warm flavor, becomes your culinary ally during winter. Beyond its aromatic richness, saffron contributes an extra layer of warmth to your meals. This added warmth, both in taste and sensation, is particularly gratifying during the winter, creating a comforting and cozy ambience in your dishes. So, this quartet of spices not only elevates your culinary experience but also enriches your winter wellness.

Powering Up Your Winter Stamina with Lean Proteins

When winter arrives, keeping your body strong and resilient is of utmost importance, and lean proteins are your trusted allies in this endeavor. Options such as chicken, turkey, and tofu provide a robust foundation to fortify your health throughout the colder months.

Protein is the essential building block that your body relies on for multiple functions. During winter, it plays a vital role in maintaining muscle mass, which is crucial for braving the elements and staying active. It also lends a helping hand in boosting your metabolism, ensuring your body has the energy it needs to keep you warm and active. Amino acids, the structural units of proteins, play a key role in maintaining health. They are the body’s construction workers, diligently repairing and building various tissues, including those within your immune system. By fostering the repair and growth of these tissues, lean proteins contribute to an immune system that operates at its prime.

Embrace the Power of Dark Leafy Greens for Winter Wellness

When the winter season approaches, it’s time to turn your attention to the vibrant and nutrient-rich world of dark leafy greens. Varieties like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard offer a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals(8) that can play a pivotal role in your winter well-being.

These leafy greens are vitamin powerhouses, with generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin C, renowned for its immune-boosting properties, fortifies your body’s defense mechanisms, helping you combat winter-related illnesses. Additionally, vitamin K supports healthy blood circulation, ensuring your body stays warm and your cells receive the nutrients they need to function optimally. Dark leafy greens are also a great source of iron, which is essential for sustaining energy levels and overall vitality. Their high fiber content promotes healthy digestion, ensuring that your body can efficiently absorb the nutrients it needs to keep you in top form during the chilly season.

Berries are Antioxidant Powerhouses for Winter Resilience

While berries are often celebrated as summer’s sweet treats, they shouldn’t be overlooked when the mercury drops. Even in the depths of winter, you can enjoy the goodness of berries to bolster your health and immunity.

Berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants (9), which are your allies in the fight against the harsh effects of cold weather. These antioxidants help your body neutralize harmful molecules, safeguarding your cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. By doing so, they play a crucial role in fortifying your overall health and strengthening your immune system.

The beauty of berries is that they are available year-round, whether you opt for frozen or dried varieties. This accessibility means you can harness the benefits of berries no matter the season, ensuring your body has the defense it needs to tackle the winter’s challenges. By incorporating these eight winter-friendly foods into your diet, you can ensure you stay warm and boost your immunity throughout the chilly season. Embrace the seasonal bounty, enjoy a variety of flavors, and keep those winter ailments at bay.


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    Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jan 31;2013(1):CD000980. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4. PMID: 23440782; PMCID: PMC8078152.
  2. Consumption of Nuts and Seeds and Health Outcomes Including Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Metabolic Disease, Cancer, and Mortality: An Umbrella Review

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  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
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  6. Efficacy and safety of cinnamon in type 2 diabetes mellitus and pre-diabetes patients: A meta-analysis and meta-regression

    Deyno S, Eneyew K, Seyfe S, Tuyiringire N, Peter EL, Muluye RA, Tolo CU, Ogwang PE. Efficacy and safety of cinnamon in type 2 diabetes mellitus and pre-diabetes patients: A meta-analysis and meta-regression. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2019 Oct;156:107815. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2019.107815. Epub 2019 Aug 16. PMID: 31425768.
  7. Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled Trials

    Anh NH, Kim SJ, Long NP, Min JE, Yoon YC, Lee EG, Kim M, Kim TJ, Yang YY, Son EY, Yoon SJ, Diem NC, Kim HM, Kwon SW. Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 6;12(1):157. doi: 10.3390/nu12010157. PMID: 31935866; PMCID: PMC7019938.
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Source: Medindia

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