Keep healthy this winter by including these 7 foods in your diet.
Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants (more so than other fruit juices)—just a cup daily might help to keep free radicals from oxidizing “bad” LDL cholesterol, according to a preliminary study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Oxidized LDL contributes to plaque build-up in the arteries. Another study showed that drinking pomegranate juice might improve blood flow to the heart in people with myocardial ischemia, a serious condition in which the heart’s oxygen supply is compromised because the arteries leading to it are blocked.
2. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens, such as kale, chard and collards, thrive in the chill of winter when the rest of the produce section looks bleak. In fact, a frost can take away the bitterness of kale. These greens are particularly rich in vitamins A, C and K. Collards, mustard greens and escarole are also excellent sources of folate, important for women of childbearing age.
Citrus fruits, including lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, are at their juiciest in the wintertime and can add sunshine to the dreary winter. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C—one medium orange delivers more than 100 percent of your daily dose. The predominant flavonoid in these fruits—hesperidin—is credited with boosting “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Carrots contain the carotenoids beta carotene and lycopene—both of which may shield your skin against UV damage. In one study, participants who were exposed to UV light had almost 50 percent less skin reddening after they drank about 1 2⁄3 cups of carrot juice or ate 2 1⁄2 tablespoons of tomato paste daily, in addition to their regular diet, for 10 to 12 weeks.
Like lycopene, beta carotene—the compound that makes pumpkins orange—protects your skin from UV damage. Beta carotene is also converted to vitamin A in the body, which helps to keep your eyes, bones and immune system healthy.
6. Green tea and chamomile tea
Green tea is a powerful antioxidant and has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. Drinking approximately three to five cups of green tea a day keeps your immune system in check. Chamomile tea is also said to possess antioxidants that help fight against cold and flu during the winters. (Think stock Photos/Getty Images)
Amla enhances food absorption, balances stomach acid, fortifies the liver, nourishes the brain and mental functioning, supports the heart, strengthens the lungs, regulates elimination of free radicals, enhances fertility, helps the urinary system, increases skin health, promotes healthier hair, acts as a body coolant, flushes out toxins, increases vitality, strengthens eyes, improves muscle tone and, acts as an antioxidant.