Comforting and Healing Foods amidst Cold Winter Months

January 22, 2015

As we move through the winter months, many of us fear the harsh cold and dreaded flu season. One surefire way to combat these anxieties and ward off winter misery is by integrating mood-boosting foods into your diet. From foods that may help to specifically fight off colds or those that just keep you warm amid the freezing temperatures, food can be your savior this time of year!

Who doesn’t love those comfort foods during the cold winter months? Comfort foods may be enjoyed to positively pique emotions, relieve negative psychological effects or to increase positive feelings[1]. As temperatures drop, our appetites begin to increase and our cravings for comfort foods spike. When those outdoor temperatures drop, your body temperature drops, which makes you long for foods that will warm you quickly (i.e. those carbohydrate-rich foods)[2]

While favorite comfort foods vary from person to person, geographical location, heritage and even the time of year, we put together our own list of favorite comfort foods (in no particular order):

  • French fries
  • Chicken soup
  • Apple pie
  • Cornbread
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup
  • Biscuits and gravy
  • Fried Chicken

Along with comfort foods that have you feeling warm and fuzzy when the weather outside is frightful, there are also foods that can help you ward off sicknesses due to their immunity-boosting super powers. Here are a few fridge, freezer and pantry staples to always have on hand when you’re in need of some healing[3]:

  • Chicken Soup and DumplingsChicken soup: warm broth and a combination of vegetables and chicken can feel comforting when cold symptoms linger
  • Hawaiian Snack BitesCitrus fruits: bright, colorful and tasty – sure to elevate your mood
    • Serve Hawaiian Snack Bites when you’re feeling low and the bright pops of pineapple and creamy cottage cheese will instantly brighten your day.
  • hicken and Brown Rice SkilletGarlic, onions and leeks: kick things up a notch with extra flavor and heartiness
  • Blueberry SmoothieGinger and honey: can feel soothing to a scratchy throat when added to steaming cup of tea
    • Two-for-one beverage that pairs honey and ginger with frozen berries for a Blueberry Smoothie that is bound to give you a much-needed boost during the winter months.
  • Cucumber Feta DipYogurt: chock-full of nutrients, customizable and versatile
    • Transform plain Greek yogurt into a savory snack with Cucumber Feta Dip that can easily top a taco or crostini, or be eaten all by itself.


What’s your go-to comfort food? And how do you survive cold winters with special food remedies? Whether you sip on a warm mug of tea with honey, mix yogurt parfaits full of berries, snuggle up with classic, homemade soup or something else, let us know in the comments below.

[1] Wansink, Brian; Sangerman, Cynthia (July 2000). “Engineering comfort foods”. American Demographics: 66–7.

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