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10 Healthy Winter Fruits and Vegetables

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10 Healthy Winter Fruits and Vegetables

Who says the good stuff is out of season in the winter? Protect your
health and keep slim by enjoying some of these nutritious and tasty
winter fruits and veggies. Winter produce is bursting with vitamins,
minerals and many other important nutrients your body needs to stay in
top shape.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Many cruciferous vegetables are in season during the winter – these
are cabbages and their relatives. These leafy veggies contain compounds
called glucosinolates,
which our bodies can convert into a number of chemicals that may have
anticancer properties. In fact, several medical studies, including one published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, have connected diets containing cruciferous vegetables with a lower risk of cancer.

Turnip Greens

Turnip greens are an excellent source of the antioxidant
beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folate and the minerals
copper and calcium.

Turnip greens sauté very nicely with onions, garlic and other greens
like kale. When you’re shopping for them, look for unwilted leaves and
moist stems.

Brussels Sprouts

Just a half cup of Brussels sprouts contains more than 100% of the
daily recommended value of vitamin K. Vitamin K plays an important role
in blood clotting and bone metabolism.

Brussels sprouts are wonderful for roasting and the individual leaves
can also be mixed into salads like in this recipe for Addictive
Brussels Sprout Salad.

Cabbage

Cabbage is an amazing source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Long ago,
sailors used to take sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage, on long
voyages to prevent scurvy (a severe vitamin C deficiency).

Cabbage can be added to soups and stews, shredded for salads and
fermented into sauerkraut and kimchi. It’s a very versatile veggie!

Kale

It’s not surprising that kale has become the vegetable of choice for
the nutritionally conscious. Kale is loaded with nutrients; it has
plenty of vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin B6, manganese, copper, calcium
and potassium.

Kale can be mixed into salads and soups or sautéed with other leafy
greens, such as turnip greens. If you’re looking for a new and inventive
way to add kale to your meal, try our recipe for Cilantro-Kale Pesto.

Root Vegetables

During the recent low-carb diet craze, many root vegetables have been
given an undeserved bad rap. It’s true that root vegetables have more
complex carbs than other classes of veggies, but that’s no reason to
swear them off. Because root vegetables grow and develop underneath the
ground, they absorb plenty of minerals and nutrients from the soil.

Potatoes

Potatoes are a staple in many cuisines because they’re filling and
inexpensive, but did you know they also have an outstanding nutritional
profile? Potatoes are a good source of potassium, magnesium, folic acid
and vitamin C, and they even contain protein!

Many of the classic ways of cooking potatoes (like making them into
French fries) are less than diet friendly. Instead, roast them with
olive oil or bake them and add nutritious, low-calorie toppings, such as
broccoli and chives.

Carrots

Carrots get their lovely orange color from the antioxidant
beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a phytochemical that converts to vitamin
A in the body. Vitamin A helps to keep your immune system strong and
protects the health of your eyes and skin. Carrots also contain vitamin C
and several other antioxidants.

Carrots are great roasted, blanched, raw and in smoothies. If you’re looking for a unique carrot-loaded side dish, try this Paleo Moroccan Carrot Salad with Raisins. It has a refreshing spicy-sweet taste you’ll love.

Parsnips

Parsnips look like white carrots. They’re similar in texture, but
have a slightly earthier flavor. Parsnips are loaded with fiber,
potassium, vitamin C and folate.

These pale, carrot-look-alikes can be kept in the refrigerator for
three to four weeks. They roast very nicely and are an excellent
addition to a winter soup.

Fruits

Fresh fruit isn’t just a summertime treat. There are many wonderful fruits available during the winter season.

Pomegranates

The sweet-yet-sour red seeds of the pomegranate are packed with
valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. This means they
may help improve chronic conditions like high cholesterol, high blood
pressure and heart disease.

Pomegranate seeds can be used to top everything from savory salads to
sweet desserts. These tart red seeds are especially good on top of a
kale salad!

Star Fruit

Like many tropical fruits, star fruit is high in vitamin C. It’s also high in anti-inflammatory agents called polyphenols.

When you’re shopping for star fruit, select ones that are evenly
colored and yellow. Allow them to ripen at room temperature until light
brown ridges form on the skin. Afterward, keep them in the refrigerator
for up to a week.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are full of antioxidant
flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and potassium. Instead of
drinking juice, eat the whole fruit. This way you’ll add fiber to your
diet.

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