Tue, May 8, 2012 – by Jessica Reinhart

Eat Broccoli to Cure The Winter Blues?

Eating healthy during the winter can be hard—fewer fresh fruits and veggies abound and yet naughty holiday goodies seem to be everywhere. Making things harder, during the colder months our bodies crave rich, often not-so-good-for-us foods. But RedPlum’s expert has 5 easy tips that will have your family eating healthy all winter long. "Our bodies enjoy eating seasonally," says Deborah Enos. Known as the "one-minute wellness coach," and author of "Weight a Minute! Transform your health in 60 seconds a day" (Book Publishers Network, $14.95), she believes that improving your health shouldn’t necessarily take a lot of time.

We asked Deborah to be our fridge detective and share her top tips for performing a healthy fridge makeover for the season. Here are a few of her favorite pointers:

Stock up on Immune System Boosters
As it turns out, many of the comfort foods we crave during the colder, darker months of the year are actually great immune system boosters and can help fend off feelings of seasonal depression. "Onions and garlic are said to protect the lungs, and are a great choice for those who suffer from illnesses such as bronchitis," says Deborah. "Mushrooms are also a great immune system booster," she adds. In addition, "many who live in darker climates suffer from depression, which can be helped by adding more folic acid to your diet. The word "folic" is derived from "foliage" – in turn, "anything leafy green is a good source of folic acid," she says. To help stave off a case of the winter blues, bulk up on veggies like bok choy, leeks and broccoli.

Make Meals Ahead
For those of us who are on-the-go (and who isn’t?), Deborah recommends making extras of every meal. "Never look at a meal as just one meal – instead, consider how you can think ahead and prepare enough for 2-3 meals. For example, when making pasta, make the entire box and keep the leftovers in a Pyrex dish to be used for the next night’s dinner. Or grab a few rotisserie chickens from the grocery store. Chicken is the base for so many things – it can be served over your favorite pasta, alongside veggies, or included in a hearty soup," says Deborah.

Keep Fruit on Hand
Deborah recommends keeping fiber-rich fruit around. Some varieties tend to have a longer shelf life than others, such as apples, bosc pears, grapefruit, oranges and kiwi. Each of these can easily last several weeks when refrigerated.

Drink Up
"The two hottest juices on the market now are pomegranate and acai (pr. a-sigh-e)," says Deborah. "Both are great immune system boosters and have anti-aging properties." She recommends sticking with non-sugared varieties.

"Kids should drink juices, such as Froose. It’s a great alternative to the sugary drinks on the market, which really train your sweet tooth," says Deborah. "It’s not only high in fiber (with 3-4 grams per container), but is also made from organic whole grains and fruit," she says.

Lay it on Thick
Ditch the mayo and instead opt for hummus or pesto as a healthy, tasty sandwich spread.