Of course, soups and strews are the first on the list when it comes to warming winter foods. In this case, each expert suggested a few plant-based options filled with a ton of nourishing vegetables, as well as some with lean proteins like chicken and turkey. Another interesting fact? These foods can also keep your skin hydrated while they make you feel good. “We want to be mindful that winter skin needs more hydration and moisture, as the cold and wind tend to have a very drying effect,” notes Karin L. Hermoni, PhD, the head of science and nutrition at Lycored. “Soup is a great way to warm our insides and keep us hydrated,” she continues. “If we can include a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables in our recipes, they work even better together.”
Naomi Whittel, the New York Times bestselling author of Glow15 and founder of Simply Good Fats agrees: “Soups and stews are beneficial any time of the year when you’re feeling fatigued, but the change of season makes it so your immune system could especially use the support.” She laments the idea that the abundance of nutrients in the broth, as well as the well-cooked veggies and meats, are easier on your digestion. “[They] allow your body to conserve some of the resources it would normally spend on the digestion of raw and less easily digestible foods, and instead uses them for healing and repair,” Whittel says, adding “They’re perfect for helping to balance hormones and build blood.”
1. Vegetable Soups
For a diverse variety that provides synergistic antioxidant benefits (and lots of fluids) try a soup made from your favorite vegetables. “Broccoli or cauliflower, which are vegetables from the cruciferous family, are rich in polyphenol and antioxidants,” notes Hermoni. “Plus,” she says, “any combination of ‘orange’ vegetables—carrots, sweet potato, squash, and pumpkin, for example—are rich in beta carotene, which you may know as vitamin A, and other carotenoids (naturally-occurring pigments in vegetables that offer protective health benefits) like lutein.”
2. Tomato-Based Soups
“Tomato soup with rosemary offers extra carotenoids like red carotenoid lycopene,” Hermoni says. And, if you’re looking for animal-based protein to boost your iron levels she suggests ground chicken or turkey chili—those recipes offer up the same flavorful and healthful tomato sauce and carrots with some added heartiness.
Find more on the healing benefits here.