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We are now a few weeks into winter and this is when most of us start to play around with our diet and shift towards eating more warming foods such as soups, curries and slow cooked dishes. Other than focusing on bringing more warmth into your diet, it can be beneficial to think of how to increase the nutrient density of your diet to ward off sickness over winter or even to just feel more satisfied by the food you are eating.

Here I am sharing the superfoods to add to your diet to winter to do just that and more.

Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are not only a good source of protein and healthy fats but also selenium. Selenium exerts antioxidant activities in the body, which can help to aid immune function.

How to use:

  • Blend into soups
  • Eat as a snack
  • Crush and sprinkle on roasted veggies or soups

Miso paste
Miso paste is an ingredient I constantly have in my pantry or fridge. Its not only a delicious way to season food but good quality miso, also contains live bacteria to help support a healthy gut microbiome. Miso is also fairly nutrient dense and contains B vitamins, Vitamin K, copper, zinc and manganese. When adding miso paste to soups or hot meals, add once the heat has been turned off to avoid killing off the live bacteria.

How to use:

  • Use in marinades or stir-fry sauces
  • Use as a stock or soup base
  • Blend with tahini, honey, garlic and water for a yummy dressing

Move over quinoa and hello barley! If you aren’t familiar with barley, it is a nutty grain which can be boiled just like quinoa or rice. Due to the fibre content of barely, it has been shown to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol and also help with appetite control and blood sugar regulation. This makes barley a good option for winter especially if looking to maintain weight. Barley does contain gluten so if you are unable to consume gluten, stick to rice or quinoa.

How to use:

  • Add to soups and casseroles
  • Toss through roasted veggies as a side
  • Boil and serve in replacement of rice
  • Boil and warm up with milk and spices as a ‘porridge’

Kiwi Fruit
The humble kiwi fruit gets less attention than fruits like berries despite the fact is offers a variety of nutrients, especially beneficial over winter. Kiwi fruit are packed with immune supportive vitamin C and Vitamin E along with fibre, potassium and folate. The fibre content can help to slow the release of sugars into the blood stream and keep you feeling fuller for longer. This makes kiwi fruit a great breakfast addition or snack.

How to use:

  • Eat whole as a snack
  • Dice or slice and add to porridge
  • add to smoothies if you continue smoothies in winter!

Broccoli sprouts
Broccoli sprouts are a source of the bioactive compound sulforaphane. Sulforphane has anti-cancer properties, is anti-aging and may be protective of heart health. While broccoli itself is a very healthy veggie choice and also contains sulforphane, broccoli sprouts contain a greater content.

How to use:

  • Blend into soups, once taken off the heat and cooled slightly
  • Eat as a dinner side
  • Add to stir-frys once the heat has been turned off
  • Add to dips such as hummus