Superfoods to Keep You Healthy This December
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Superfoods to Keep You Healthy This December

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 at 8:00 am
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For most people, December is a chaotic month. Not only are thousands of us heading out to local retail stores all month, we’re also going to cocktail parties, worrying about our holiday dinner, and doing everything possible to not catch the cold that everyone seems to have. All of the stress, cold and wet weather, and interaction with several shoppers can take their toll on our immune systems. Luckily, you can load up on many of the tasty superfoods that are in season this December. The mixture of antioxidants and nutrients will keep your body in tip top shape, so you’re ready to go this holiday season.

Try adding some of these natural foods to your snack or meal routine this December:

Kumquats – These tiny, tart citrus fruits are similar to oranges not only in appearance, but also because they are loaded with vitamin C. Kumquats are also a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin A. They’re great as a small snack alone, or you can add them to your favorite marinades and sauces. You can also try adding them to your salads for a little something extra or combining them with other citrus fruits for a delicious marinade.

Red Beans – Red Beans are absolutely packed with antioxidants. In fact, they boast more antioxidants that powerhouse superfoods like blueberries. Red beans are also high in fiber and protein. They’re super versatile and can be added to many winter comfort foods like chili or bean soups.

Cranberries – These bright red berries are not only delicious, but can also be used as an edible way to dress up a pitcher of water, glasses of champagne, or a holiday punch. Try enjoying them alone, creating delicious sauces or glazes, or add to your favorite baked goods.   Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants to boost your immune system.

Mushrooms – Mushrooms are low in calories but rich in flavor and nutrients. They’re also loaded with phytochemicals and potassium. Mushrooms come in several varieties. Try marinating and barbecuing a large Portobello mushroom or throwing smaller crimini or shiitake mushrooms into soups or stews. They’re also great in a stir fry or on top of your favorite pizza.

Avocados – While avocados might make you think of spring or summer days, certain varieties of avocado are in season during the winter. Avocados are a great source of vitamins, fiber, lutein (for your eyes) and good fats, which make you feel fuller for longer. If you aren’t looking to enjoy so old fashioned guacamole, try spreading it on some bread before making sandwiches. You can also cut it up and add it to your salads for a rich flavor.

Some superfoods like cranberries can be frozen, so you can enjoy them year-round. Experiment to find your favorite way to enjoy any of these foods, so you get an extra boost of nutrition during this hectic month!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.