Health

6 Winter Veggies That Help Stop Weight Gain, Nourish Skin, and Boost Immunity

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No matter your ailment, winter veggies can help heal your body and give you the energy you need. The nutrients in these delicious, in-season choices may help reduce the chances of weight gain, replenish the skin, boost immunity, soothe gastrointestinal troubles, and reduce nerve pain. Feel your best with these in-season picks!

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Turnips help stop weight gain.

One of the best winter veggies we can think of is the turnip. A daily one-cup serving of turnips may halt winter weight gain, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. The study authors found that mice fed turnip extract lost significantly more weight than their counterparts. The reason? Turnips contain a unique family of nutrients (isothiocyanates) that may switch on fat-burning genes in abdominal and liver cells to quickly convert belly fat into fuel.

Sweet potatoes replenish skin’s nutrients.

To keep your skin soft and radiant all winter, stock up on sweet potatoes. They contain beta-carotene (vitamin A), which is essential for the repair and replacement of damaged and aging skin cells. They also contain vitamins C and E, both of which are excellent antioxidants for the skin.

Carrots give your immune system a boost.

Carrots’ carotenoids make them them an immunity-boosting dynamo. A 2012 study from the journal Vnitrni Lekarstvi and a 2018 study from the Journal of Clinical Medicine both show that vitamins A and C (in carrots) protect cells that are essential to the immune system.

Need a delicious meal idea to spruce up your carrots? Boil 1 pound of baby carrots until soft. Then, drain and stir in 2 tablespoons. of butter, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Or toss 12 sliced carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

Acorn squash can lift your mood.

If you’ve felt a bit frazzled lately, enjoying 1 cup of acorn squash daily could help you sail through these busy times with a calmer and happier demeanor. Research shows that the alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin in this winter vegetable reduce oxidative stress and calm the central nervous system to tamp down the release of stress hormones.

Beets help heal gastrointestinal issues.

To sidestep gas, indigestion, and belly aches, add 1/3 cup of beets to your biggest meal of the day. They contain a unique carbohydrate (inulin) that, as explained in a 2010 scientific review from Alternative Medicine, stimulates the production of digestive enzymes and intestinal muscle contractions, often within 10 minutes of the first serving.

Red onions can ease pain.

Compounds called flavonoids not only give red onions their pretty hue, they also calm pain nerves, reduce tissue inflammation, and block the formation of pain-triggering hormones called prostaglandins. Try eating 1/2 a cup daily to get a substantial dose of flavonoids in your system.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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