Top 5 Energy-Boosting Foods for Cold Weather

Posted on December 4, 2014

Today I have the privilege of sharing a guest post with you from my friend and fellow mom, Registered Dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth. I am always very interested in her ideas and what she can teach me. She has so much knowledge about eating and living better! — Veronica

It can be tough to stay focused and motivated to eat healthy and exercise when the temperature starts to dip and we’re bundled up from head-to-toe. Though you might be tempted to hit the couch and cuddle up under a warm blanket, it’s actually healthier for your body and spirit to keep moving—even when it’s freezing outside. And while those holiday treats are tempting, taking care of ourselves nutritionally is vital to combat the risk of cold and flu, and seasonal affective disorder. Here are my 5 top foods to boost energy, improve immunity and put a smile on your face. Eat up and stay healthy!

1. Eggs: The incredible egg is one of the few food sources of vitamin D, which most of us don’t get enough of in the dark winter months. A vitamin D deficiency can leave you with a weakened immune system. Whip up a tasty egg dish and make sure to keep the yolks in–that’s where the vitamin D is! Two eggs have 160IU of vitamin D.

2. Mango: In addition to a burst of vitamin C, fresh mango is loaded with beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital to a healthy immune system. One cup of sweet, juicy mango has 75% of your vitamin C for the day, and 25% of your vitamin A. Below there’s a quick recipe from my cookbook, Eating in Color. The addition of turmeric means that the smoothie also fights inflammation.

3. Walnuts: You’ve probably read that walnuts contain heart healthy fats, including ALA omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your heart and your skin. They also contain biotin, which helps you metabolize energy from the foods you eat. Walnuts won’t give you a jolt of energy like caffeine, but they will give you a boost when added to your morning oatmeal. Stick to a 1-ounce serving, which is 14 walnut halves (185 calories).

4. Yogurt/kefir: A healthy gut helps protect you from getting sick. It’s like a safety net, but on the inside of your body. Probiotics in yogurt and kefir help to keep your gut in balance, and therefore healthy. If you can’t tolerate dairy, try other foods with probiotics, like kimchee, kombucha and sauerkraut.

5. Carbs! There’s a reason why our bodies crave carbohydrates—they are the number one fuel for our brains. And when you’re active, your body uses up your stored liver and muscles glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrates). If you don’t replenish them, you’ll feel sluggish—especially during a workout. Fuel up with complex carbohydrates, which include healthy whole grains (barley, oats, quinoa, amaranth, etc.), products made with whole grains (breads, bars, cereal, pasta), beans, potatoes, and peas.

Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, is a best-selling author and nationally recognized health expert, who has helped thousands of women across America lose weight and feel incredible with her healthy recipes and smart diet and nutrition advice. Passionate about helping people make the right choices to lead healthier, more active lives, Frances provides real world advice and motivation to reach your goals. Whether it’s choosing the best foods for a healthy pregnancy, dropping 20 pounds the right way, or learning how to incorporate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your meals, Frances provides the tools you need.

Recipe: Frances’ Coco-Mango Smoothie

Makes 2 servings

Fruit of 1 large ripe MANGO, peeled, pitted, and diced
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 LIME
1⁄2 cup COCONUT BUTTER
1 teaspoon ground TURMERIC
1 cup WATER
1 cup (100g) ICE, plus more for serving

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses over additional ice, if desired, and serve.

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Check out Veronica’s new cookbook Pure Food!