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As we get lazier and feel more settled into cold weather (yay for rainy months!), it’s easy to reach for classic comfort foods. The healthy salads and smoothies are often swapped for stodgy meals such as pasta bakes and carb-heavy snacks. But warming up needn’t mean piling on the pounds – there are plenty of superfoods that do the trick and keep you healthy at the same time.

1. Porridge

As the weather changes, you’ll start craving a comforting breakfast that will leave you satisfied. Step away from the full English and make a bowl of oatmeal porridge instead. The whole grain provides you with fibre and plant-based protein will keep hunger at bay longer than many other breakfast options. The beta-glucan in oats can also reduce bad cholesterol levels. If you want to spice things up, add more super foods like blueberries or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

2. Pumpkin soup

Looking for a nutritious and warming lunch? Try some pumpkin soup! With the fruit particularly prominent thanks to Halloween in October, you shouldn’t struggle to get your hands on one. Pumpkins are loaded with vitamin A, which promotes vision, and also contains antioxidant beta-carotene, believed to fight cancer. It’s best to make this soup yourself in a blender, so you can keep an eye on the amount of cream and salt used.

3. Chilli

Swap stodgy pasta dishes for chilli if you want a meal in the evening that won’t increase your dress size. The spicy chilli peppers used are thought to help boost the metabolism and fight fat build up. Beans are a great source of protein, while onions provide antioxidants. It’s also advisable to switch the beef for Quorn mince, which is high in protein and low in fat.

4. Avocados

Fat isn’t all bad and you need some of the good ones to keep your body going. Avocados are great eaten in moderation – a portion should be about a fifth of the fruit. Try it oven roasted, with salt and lemon for a hot yummy snack.

5. Hot chocolate

Fancy something sweet? Hot chocolate is the answer – just make sure you leave off the cream and marshmallows. Instead, use a low-calorie mix and add hot water, or make your own with two squares of dark chocolate and almond milk, heated on the stove. The flavonoids in dark chocolate are an antioxidant.

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