Food That Keeps You Warm: How to Eat Right in Winter

In winter, our bodies need a special diet to replenish energy and nutrients.

To effectively replenish energy reserves in winter and get enough vitamins, you need to change your diet and include nutritious foods and dishes in your daily menu.

There are a number of nutrients that are important to replenish carefully in the winter, said nutritionist Lisa Burnett in an interview with Cleveland Clinic’s Healthessential resource.

What nutrients does the body need in winter


To replenish protein stores, you should eat legumes, nuts, fish, eggs, and meat.

Vitamin D

In winter, you need to increase your intake of this vitamin, says the nutritionist. Firstly, it is necessary for healthy muscles and bones, and secondly, a lack of this vitamin weakens our immunity and leads to fatigue.

Why should we be more concerned about replenishing this vitamin in winter? Because vitamin D is mainly obtained from sunlight, which is not enough at this time of year. Therefore, you need to add sources of this vitamin to your diet – dairy products, and fish (salmon and tuna).

Vitamin C

Vitamin C improves immunity, so it will help protect your body from diseases during the winter cold. To replenish its reserves, you can eat 2-3 servings of fruit and more than 3 servings of vegetables daily.

Among vegetables, bell peppers contain most of this vitamin, and among fruits – citrus fruits and cranberries.

Vitamin E

It will help to get rid of dry, itchy, and burning skin, which often plagues us in winter. After all, our hands cannot withstand constant temperature changes – from frost outside to dry, warm air in heated rooms.

Vitamin E can reduce inflammation and improve skin conditions. The body can get it from vegetable oils, nuts, pumpkin seeds, red bell peppers, mangoes, and avocados.

B vitamins

These vitamins are also important because they affect energy levels and brain function. They are found in leafy greens and legumes (beans and lentils).

What foods to add to your diet in winter

Experts recommend including more vegetables, fruits, and citrus fruits in your diet. So, you should eat

  • onions
  • garlic
  • Brussels sprouts and cauliflower,
  • spinach
  • carrots,
  • beans,
  • pumpkin,
  • ginger,
  • pomegranate,
  • tangerines.

The diet should also include walnuts, salmon, chicken, and spices (smoked paprika, curry powder, and cumin).

What foods are best avoided in winter

Often in winter, we are tempted to eat more nutritious and heavy foods, thus overloading our bodies. The nutritionist advises not to abuse starchy foods, including bread and potatoes.

Soups are very popular in the cold season. However, when eating them, you need to monitor the salt content, because exceeding its norm can cause heart problems. Cream soups made with cream are best replaced with light broths.

As an alternative to fresh vegetables and fruits, it is better to use frozen ones. But it is better not to overuse canned food because canned vegetables contain too much salt, and fruit from cans contains a lot of sugar.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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