Winter isn’t exactly the healthiest season. With the cold temperatures, all you want to do is stay bundled up inside and load up on the high-calorie comfort food. The good news? “You can combat your winter woes by eating these six everyday foods,” says those at Eat This, Not That. “They will keep you healthy and strong from December to March and beyond!”

Oatmeal – Helps You Avoid the Winter Blues
Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 10.26.43 AMWe know that the dark, winter days leave you in a less than cheery mood. Whole grain carbohydrates can give your winter mood a much-needed boost! In an MIT study, researchers found that eating plenty of whole grain carbohydrates keep serotonin levels up and can even prevent cravings for sweets!

Walnuts – Keeps Skin from Drying Out
Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 10.27.48 AMThe cold winter weather sucks a lot of moisture out of your skin, leaving it to feel dull, tight and itchy. While applying moisturizer can help, the omega-3 fatty acids, which help maintain healthy cell membranes, found in walnuts will help your dry skin problem from the inside. “When your skin cells are strong they are better able to retain moisture,” says Eat This, Not That.

Garlic – Wards Off Cold and Flu Viruses
Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 10.28.18 AMIt has recently been discovered that garlic may prevent you from getting sick. Allicin, a chemical in garlic, may stimulate the production of infection-fighting white blood cells. Just try not to eat too much garlic—you may want to ware off the cold and flu, but don’t ware off your friends and family.

Winter Squash – Prevents Weight Gain
Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 10.28.55 AMFoods like squash are rich in fiber and contain fewer calories. They’re digested more slowly and keep you full long after you eat them—an important factor against the season of overeating. One study found that participants who routinely ate more fiber than the national average of about 14 grams per day were less likely to be overweight than those who consumed less than 14 grams.

Chicken Sandwich – Keeps Energy Up
Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 10.29.55 AM“Darkness signals your body to produce melatonin, the hormone responsible for making you sleepy,” Eat This, Not That says. “So the shorter days that come along with winter can cause you to feel like hitting the sack instead of the gym.” Eating complex carbohydrates—like whole grains, starchy vegetables and legumes—along with some protein can help you stay awake and energized!

Chicken Soup – Helps You Breathe Easy
Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 10.34.55 AMWe all like hot liquids to clear our sinuses. But chicken soup also may even reduce inflammation in your nose and throat! Plus, most chicken soups are low in calories and saturated fat and high in fiber.

So hurry to your local Sparkle Market and pick up some of the best winter foods! Stay healthy!

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