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Winter is upon us, and you may already be fighting a cold, runny nose or feeling drowsy and tired. We suggest trying to eat your way to a perkier, healthier and more energetic you for the season, so we’ve highlighted the top 5 healthy foods to chow down on this winter. Even if you aren’t getting the winter blues, keep yourself and your family healthy and happy for the holidays and beyond, by checking out which 5 healthy foods to incorporate into hearty, seasonal dishes.

1. Broccoli
Broccoli is a very rich in fiber and essential nutrients, but the main source of winter health comes from the fact that the vegetable’s florets are packed glucoraphanin. This compound has been proven to reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers and aid in metabolism functions, according to scientists at the John Innes Centre and the Institute of Food Research in Norwich. Try this great green in a warming Broccoli Soup with Parmesan-Lemon Frico for lunch or dinner.

2. Beets
Beets are high in micro-elements and minerals essential for healthy digestive and and immune systems, and are rich in betamin, which is important for liver and heart function, blood pressure and cholesterol management. The rich pigment of beets provides the vegetable with  antioxidants, organic pigments and cartenoids, all of which can help fight cancer, heart disease and birth defects. Try this crimson  root vegetable in our Brown Rice and Beet Risotto with Coconut Milk for a twist on the Italian  classic.

3. Oranges
Oranges are known as strong immunity boosters as they are full of vitamin C, which helps our bodies fight off diseases. These citrus fruits are also beneficial for improving cardiovascular health, the digestive system, and bone density, as they are rich in calcium and minerals. The high levels of free radical fighting antioxidants in ranges can even help keep your skin glowing and clean through these blustery winter months. If you’re looking for a light dish, try Sliced Avocado and Oranges with Tahini Yogurt Sauce for a heart, skin and bone healthy snack.

4. Pomegranates

Not only are pomegranates tasty and healthy, their jewel-like seeds are a gorgeous addition to any dish.  Eat them this winter to get your potassium, vitamin C, polyphenols and vitamin B6, and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Pomegranates are the only known food to contain a compound called punicalagins, which lower cholesterol and blood pressure, making them ideal for those who suffer from heart and cardiovascular conditions. Toss those gorgeous red seeds into a winter salad or try some Pomegranate Poached Pears for a sweeter option.

5. Winter Squash
Winter squashes are chock full of anti-oxidants and, believe it or not, vitamin C. This makes them an awesome winter vegetable to enjoy in many forms, as their sweet but subtle flavor lends itself well to savory stews, roasts and soups as well as decadent desserts and breakfast dishes. Winter squashes have also shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and even regulate blood sugar levels. Try this winter wonder food in our Speckled Acorn Squash Cookies with Nigella Seeds for a healthy dessert, snack or breakfast bite.

Image: Subactive photo

Sources: WHFoods

Related on Organic Authority:
A Guide to Winter Squashes
18 Healthy Snack Foods to Bust the Winter Blues
From Norway to NYC: Winter Wonderlands from Around the World