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5 winter superfoods for more energy

It feels like mere days since we were heating up the grill, roasting summer veggies, and suddenly, the colorful leaves of fall are being replaced by frosty flakes of ice. The hats and mittens are coming out to play, but we just want to stay under the comforter where it's forever toasty. The winter blues are real, and so is the struggle to stay energized in the cold. Here are five seasonal superfoods that will have you feeling good from the inside out. 

1. Beets
Rich in natural nitrates, beets are a great source of energy as they deliver more oxygen and nutrients into the bloodstream. Perfect for weight management, beets are high in fiber and potassium while supplying antioxidants.  Best of all, although we can find beets year round, they're at their best in the fall months.

Try It:Roast beets until they are tender and juicy, then mix them into a salad of baby greens topped with a drizzle of lemon and olive oil. 

2. Parsnips
It might be hard to believe, but parsnips are actually more nutritious than carrots!  As cousins, their flavor profile is similar making parsnips a great alternative, but unlike carrots, parsnips boast a high concentration of folate and potassium, both integral in keeping our bones, cells and muscles running efficiently.

Try it: Roast parsnips and sprinkle with Thyme and maple syrup for an energizing and sweet side dish. 

3. Jicama
One of the best sources of dietary fiber, helping with lower cholesterol and weight loss, jicama is full of health boosting vitamins, minerals and nutrients. A great source of iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium, it helps boost energy levels.

Try It:Add chopped jicama to your salads for nice and refreshing crunch, or simply slice it, sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice and enjoy as a snack. 

4. Sweet Potatoes
It might be hard to believe that these orange beauties are actually some of the most nutritious vegetables around!  High in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, sweet potatoes are best known for being a great source of Vitamins A and C, not to mention their high fiber content.

Try It:Enjoy sweet potato mash along with a side of green beans and almonds.

5. Walnuts
These delicious beauties are a simple way to get some quick nutrition since they are easy to carry and eat just about anywhere. Walnuts will give you a nice energy boost and provide you with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that raise good HDL cholesterol and lower bad LDL cholesterol. About a quarter cup of walnuts provides about 90 percent of your recommended daily intake of omega-3s. Now, that’s pretty super.

Try it:Toss one cup of walnuts in one tablespoon of maple syrup and sprinkle with ground vanilla beans for a delicious on-the-go snack! 

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