If this weekend’s weather is any indication, the seasons are changing. Fall is slowly coming upon us, but winter won’t be far behind. As we say goodbye to the long days of summer, it’s time to plan our hibernation. Mainly, it’s time to start shifting our focus from light summer barbecues to comfort foods. But wait – not that kind of comfort food. I mean the kind of food that won’t only be delicious, but will be satisfying for your entire being, delivering not only satisfaction but health benefits, too.
In the wintertime, savory, warm recipes are what we all gravitate toward. These meals don’t have to be loaded with fat, sugar or extra calories — there’s a plethora of recipes that are packed with healthy ingredients that not only taste great but reduce inflammation, boost antioxidants, provide long-lasting energy and overall improve our digestive system. Here is the lineup of ingredients to incorporate in your winter recipes:
Tumeric: Tumeric reduces inflammation AND boosts your body’s antioxidant count. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. Tumeric contains something called circumin which naturally fights inflammation at a molecular level. While small amounts of inflammation is actually good (it helps us keep disease at bay), chronic inflammation is detrimental, leading to higher risk of a handful of life-threatening illnesses. Tumeric also increases our bodies’ antioxidant count, allowing us to naturally fight the signs of aging thanks to the added defense against free radicals.
Cayenne: This pepper is actually proven to increase your metabolism, allowing your body to burn off some extra calories. It also, like tumeric, can help fight free radical damage. This one can get a little spicy, though, so be wary of your portions and follow recipes closely.
Garlic: Using fresh garlic is not only delicious and flavorful, but incredibly healthy. It helps fight inflammation, is great for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and is loaded with antioxidants. Don’t like peeling garlic cloves? Microwave them for 15-20 seconds, let them cool a bit, then peel off the casing with ease.
Fresh fish: Try to incorporate fish in your winter diet this year. Your body and brain will thank you! It’s packed with vitamin D to help boost your dose once the sun retreats, plus gives your body a boost of omega-3 fatty acids which are not only helpful for your joints and heart health, but are proven to increase brain power.
Looking for a great recipe to start with? Try this one from Better Homes and Gardens that combines tumeric, fish and cayenne: https://www.bhg.com/recipe/golden-turmeric-fish/.
Best of health,
Dr. Chad M. Hoffman