15 Healthy Food Choices for Winter

Finding the time and resources to develop a healthy nutrition plan is no easy task.

Every time you get on Facebook you see a dozen different recipes or “lose weight fast” meal plans; but how do you know which ones will actually work?

As certified certified health coaches, we here at Against the Grain, have had clients come to us with questions on every nutrition plan possible.

To be honest, certain things work for some people and don’t work for others.

Everyone’s body is different.

And the most important thing is creating a nutrition plan that is sustainable.

Ir order to help our clients and our readers come up with the best nutrition and weight-loss plan, we have made a list of some of the best foods to eat during the winter months.

15 Healthiest Food Options for Winter Weather Overview:

  • grapefruit
  • brussels sprouts
  • pomegranate
  • kiwi
  • cabbage
  • sweet onion
  • coconut milk
  • chia seeds
  • star fruit
  • kale
  • sweet potatoes
  • mustard greens
  • greek yogurt
  • chickpeas
  • navy beans

Ever wonder which healthy foods you should eat in the winter?

The winter months often have us feeling dull, tired, and sluggish.

The holiday season is full of temptation that throw many people off of their diet routine, plus the cold weather makes us less than eager to go outside and exercise.

There are ways to make sure the cold weather doesn’t bring an end to your health and fitness goals, and it all starts with what you put in your kitchen.

Here are 15 healthy food choices to add to your winter diet.

1. Kale

kale for winter diet

Kale is a great healthy food choice, that can actually be grown during the winter, ( in weather that doesn’t dip below the teens).

Kale tends to actually taste better in the fall and winter because the leaves are sweeter when they mature in cooler weather.

In the kitchen, kale is extremely versatile.

It can be steamed, stir-fried, or substituted for spinach in popular meals such as omelettes, casseroles, and smoothies.

A single cup of raw kale (2.4 ounces) is high in crucial vitamins

Plus, all of these nutrients come with a total of only 33 calories and 3 grams of protein.

Safe to say, kale is known as one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat.

Kale recipes 

2. Chickpeas

winter diet food chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a great option.

They keep your digestive system healthy, and your stomach full.

They are easily added to stews, soups, crock-pot meals, and can even be the perfect salad topper.

You’ll see the use of chickpeas in some of the healthiest populations in the world such as the Mediterranean region.

A single serving of chickpeas (1 cup cooked) provides

Chickpeas are also known to help control blood sugar levels, improve digestion due to high fiber content, help prevent heart disease, and more.

Cooking with chickpeas

3. Greek Yogurt

healthy greek yogurt ideas

During the holidays, fatty (but delicious) dips are a common sight.

While dips are yummy, with an infinitive amount of possibilities, they are often loaded with sodium and unwanted fat.

A great alternative to sour cream, is plain, fat-free Greek yogurt.

It can also be used as a replacement for oil, to decrease fat and increase protein, in baked goods. (hello Christmas cookies!)

Or it can be ate as a snack on its own!

1-cup serving of plain, fat-free yogurt contains

Fat-free greek yogurt is free from cholesterol-raising, saturated fat, and has essential probiotics and vitamins.

Ways to eat fat-free greek yogurt

4. Pomegranate Seeds

pomegranate healthy winter food choice

Pomegranate seeds are the edible insides of the pomegranate.

They are red bursts of tart and sweet yumminess, but also provide major health benefits.

You can also get the benefits of pomegranate with 100% pure pomegranate juice.

Pomegranate seeds can be ate alone, or added to salads, oatmeal, desserts, yogurt, and more!

1 serving of pomegranate seeds (1/2 cup) has

These little seeds have a mighty impact on your body. Pomegranates are considered a natural arthritis treatment, cancer-fighting food, and a way to help lower blood pressure.

Delicious ways to eat pomegranate seeds

5. Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts winter weight loss

When many people first hear brussels sprouts, they wrinkle their noses.

Yes, brussels sprouts give off a stronger odor than most vegetables, but that is only because they are rich in hydrogen sulfide gas.

But if you can get over the temporary smell, we promise it’s worth it.

Brussels sprouts are extremely high in antioxidants, which reduce oxidative stress in cells, and help lower risk of chronic disease.

Brussels sprouts have an impressive nutritional composition.

One serving provides

  • Vitamin K: 243% DV
  • Vitamin C: 129% DV
  • Fiber: 16% DV
  • Iron: 10%DV
  • Protein: 8% DV
  • and so much more

These mighty sprouts can be added to stir-fry, top salads, roasted as a side dish, and more.

They are also harvested in the fall and winter, so during the cold months, you can find fresh brussels sprouts almost anywhere.

Brussels sprouts recipes that make the stink worth it

6. Mustard Greens

winter healthy foods mustard greens

Mustard greens are an excellent non-dairy source of bone-strengthening calcium, and are very filling.

This veggie targets three key components of the body, the anti-inflammatory system, antioxidants, and the detoxification process.

There are many ways to prepare and cook mustard greens, and they are extremely low in calories.

Mustard greens can be eaten raw, stir-fried, steamed, or added to salads and juices. They also taste great with onion and tomato, and have their own spicy flavor.

1 cup of mustard greens has

Due to their high content of vitamin K and A, mustard greens play a critical role in protecting your bones and maintaining healthy vision and skin.

How to eat mustard greens

7. Chia Seeds

chia seeds healthy choice

Chia seeds, known as a superfood in the health community, are versatile and provide plentiful benefits.

The history of chai seeds goes way back.

They were originally grown in Mexico, and were highly valued for their nutritional value and medicinal properties.

They were even used as a currency.

Chia seeds have been shown to help balance out blood sugar level and provide energy.

Chia seed nutrition profile ( 1 oz)

Chia seeds high antioxidant content makes them makes them a natural resource for skin repair and damage prevention, such as premature skin aging.

They are a heart healthy food, assisting with regulating cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.

Chia seeds can be made into pudding, used as a topping, mixed into muffins or other baked goods, turned into a spread, or even added into your beauty routine as a body scrub.

Ch Ch Ch Chia seed recipes

8. Star Fruit

winter health food star fruit

The technical name of star fruit is carambola, but was given the nickname star fruit due to its shape.

Star fruit is easy to prepare, all it requires is washing and slicing.

With only 29 calories per fruit, star fruit is a way to keep your fruit intake adequate and interesting.

It hits a perfect balance between sweet and sour, and the skin is edible.

1 medium sized star fuit contains

Star fruit is yummy on its own, but can always be added to cereal, fruit salads, oatmeal, smoothies, and more.

Star fruit recipes

9. Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes for weight loss

Sweet potatoes are a great cold weather, fat-burning option.

They are loaded with fiber, which helps you stay full, all while burning calories by putting your digestive system to work.

Sweet potatoes help maintain healthy blood pressure and protect against cancer.

Their high fiber content helps prevent constipation and one medium, medium baked sweet potato with skin contains around 100 calories.

1 medium sized sweet potato provides

Additional benefits: stabilize blood sugar, high in antioxidants, boosts brain function, strengthen immunity, protects vision health, assists with weight loss

There are endless ways to add sweet potatoes into your diet.

You can eat them whole as a side dish, mash or cube, bake with them, add to casseroles, and more.

Simple, delicious sweet potato recipes

10. Coconut Milk

[winter weather drink coconut milk

Coconut milk is a great way to combat extra winter weight, plus it takes great,

The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut milk help speed up the body’s metabolism, which can promote weight loss.

Just be careful not to overdue your intake though, due to the caloric count coconut milk has.

It has a creamy texture and slight natural sweetness taste, and it often called a miracle liquid.

Coconut milk has an ability to enhance the body’s immune defenses and prevent disease.

It is found inside mature coconuts and now it can be bought at almost all grocery stores.

1/4 cup of coconut milk contains minerals such as

Try adding coconut milk to your soups, smoothies, baked goods, or even as a replacement for cream in your morning coffee.

Easy coconut milk ideas

11. Navy Beans

healthy food navy beans

Navy beans are another food that helps you feel full longer.

They are a great addition to soup and chili recipes during the cold winter weather, and a good way to incorporate more healthy plant-based protein sources into your diet.

They are available year round, and are mild-flavored.

Navy beans are considered a fiber all-star and contain

  • Fiber: 76% DV
  • Folate: 64% DV
  • Manganese: 48% DV
  • Copper: 42% DV
  • Vitamin B1: 36% DV
  • other benefits

A unique benefit of navy beans comes from their high vitamin B1 content.

Vitamin B1 (thiamin) participates in enzymatic reactions central to energy production, and is vital for cognitive and brain cell function. It can be essential for memory and Alzheimer’s disease prevention.

Delicious ways to cook navy beans

12. Grapefruit

grapefruit smart choice

Grapefruit is a go to fruit, prime for picking in the fall and winter, and should definitely by in your diet.

It increases the body’s metabolic rate, lowers insulin levels, and gives a feeling of fullness.

Grapefruits also help the body fight fatigue, diabetes, constipation, indigestion, fever, and assists the human body in many more ways.

These fruit also work as a natural antiseptic for external wounds.

1/2 of a grapefruits gives you all this and more

Grapefruit even promotes healthy sleep and alleviates annoying symptoms of insomnia.

You can simply cut a grapefruit in half, grab a spoon, and enjoy but you can also add it to salads, turn into dressings, bake with, and more.

How to get creative with grapefruits

13. Kiwi

kiwi healthy food

Kiwi has a unique and invigorating flavor, with a soft texture.

Kiwi’s impressive vitamin C, phenolic components, and carotenoids content promote overall good health.

Another unique benefit of kiwi, is its ability to facilitate the absorption of iron in the body. Its richness in vitamin C, along with other phytochemicals, help improve iron status, and prevents iron deficiency disorders.

1 medium-sized kiwi has

This fruit is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Kiwi is great on its own, but can be even better when added to smoothes, salads, or in fruit salads.

Just be careful not to overdue it, since the majority of calories in kiwi comes from sugars.

Kiwi recipes please

14. Cabbage

cabbage for winter recipes

Ok, ok.

I know cabbage doesn’t sound like the most appealing, likable food, but it is 100% worth acquiring a liking for.

It is ideal for adult weight loss, only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage.

Cabbage even helps skin glow.

It helps dry up oily skin, and is high in sulfur.

Try a cabbage face mask.

Sulfur is important for keratin, the protein substance that makes our hair, nails, and skin be strong.

Or maybe you are looking for a winter detox?

Again, cabbage has your back.

Due to its high content in in sulfur and vitamin C, cabbage removes toxins such as free radicals and uric acids from the body.

What else does cabbage have?

  • Vitamin K: 79% DV
  • Vitamin C: 69% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 20% DV
  • Fiber: 16% DV
  • Potassium: 11% DV
  • other info

Cabbage can also be a solution for blood sugar regulation by lowering blood sugar levels and boosting insulin production.

Eat cabbage now

15. Sweet Onion

Onions are nothing to cry over.

Sweet onions add so much flavor, and nutrients.

They are great to add to sautéed vegetables, and when added to a stir fry, can make eating other vegetables much easier.

What’s in a sweet onion?

Sweet onions encourage a healthy heart, strong immune system, good digestion, and assist in regulating blood sugar.

What’s not to love?

Sweet onion ideas

Why eat healthy food?

This may seem like a silly question, but if it was so simple, everyone would be doing it.

Eating healthy has endless benefits, but some are not as obvious as others.

Yes, eating healthy leads to weight loss and a slimmer appearance, but it does so much more.

It is the key to living a long, balanced life.

You feel more energized, see improvement in skin, sleep patterns, and more.

Putting the right food in your body can fix health issues you’ve struggled with your whole life.

It won’t happen over night, but making small changes each day, that fit into your current lifestyle, will have a major impact on your overall health and wellness.

Against the Grain is here to help you start your health and wellness journey.

Whether it’s with meal prep ideas, finding out what proportions work with your body, or simply learning to have a beneficial relationship with food, we can help.