8 Healthy Winter Vegetables
While we slow down and take time to rest this winter, let’s enjoy these tasty, nourishing winter vegetables. Eating vegetables in the right season ensures that we are getting optimum nutrients and their health benefits.
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Food out of season lacks energy and nutrients because it has been shipped from far away and is often cultivated in an unnatural way. In the northern hemisphere, it is winter and our gardens are frozen or covered with snow. When we are unable to grow food, how can we eat food that’s in season?
Many vegetables ripen in the fall and store well over the winter. The earth created them that way to help us to stay nourished in the cold months. Go to your local farmer’s market; even in the winter they have harvested food to sell. I have eaten fresh vegetables from my own vegetable garden right up until the end of March, which is usually when I run out.
1. Carrots are loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A, and is essential for healthy eyes and a strong immune system, which is a good thing in the winter. This crunchy power food is host to many health benefits.
Add carrots to your meals: Grate them into salads, put them in soups, stews and stir fries.
2. Winter Squash comes in a variety of shapes and flavors; a few examples are corn, butternut, kabocha, and delicata squash which are all sweetly flavored. Winter squash has a high amount of vitamin A (beta-carotene), with potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. Learn more about the health benefits of Squash.
3. Beets are sweet, delicious and their deep red makes a colourful addition to any meal. A single serving of beets can boost your energy and lower your blood pressure. Beets are full of health benefits and are known as being an aphrodisiac, a brain Booster and more.Add deep red beets to your meals: Put them in soups and stews or grate them into a salad.
4. Sweet Potatoes have a lower glycemic index then white potatoes, which is surprising since they are so sweet. That means they are less likely to produce insulin. Sweet potatoes are a smart carb, very rich in vitamins and minerals, and they provide a wealth of health benefits.
Add tasty sweet potatoes to your meals: Here are two recipes Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and a Sweet Potato Salad.
5. Onions are full of protective phytonutrients, vitamins, trace minerals and unique anti-inflammatory compounds. Onions are full of health benefits as they are rich in nutrients, antioxidants and high in quercetin, which protect against heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.
Add onions to your meals: They add flavor to your meals for in soups, stews, stir fries and red onion in a salad.
Please Note: The next are three vegetables from the cruciferous family. If you’re taking blood-thinners, it’s important to monitor the foods you eat containing vitamin K, which these next three have. Vitamin K aids in blood clotting.
Cruciferous vegetables which include: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, turnips, arugula and watercress, have been found to cause hypothyroidism. In a study, it was found that eating 7 – 8 cooked Brussels sprouts for four weeks had no effect on thyroid function, but more research is needed. It has been said that it is best to cook them as that would eliminate the problem.
This is a budget friendly vegetable filled with vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants and glucosinolates that studies show to lower the risk of cancer. Also, there is only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage. There are many Surprising Health Benefits of Cabbage.
Add cabbage to your meals: Make coleslaw, add a few leaves for a crunch to salads, add chopped leaves to stews, soups or stir fries.
7. Kale is one of the few leafy greens that survives and even improves its flavor after the frost, making it a dense winter green. Dark greens are the most nutritious. Kale is full of vitamins and many minerals and has many Health Benefits.
8. Brussels sprouts look like mini cabbages, but have their own unique flavor. Brussels sprouts are one of the top 20 most nutritious foods. Brussels sprouts have so many health benefits for your body.
Add Brussel sprouts to your meals: Here are two tasty recipes:Brussels Sprout Salad and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries.
Let’s eat these vegetables that are in season and deeply nourish our body. They are nature’s Powerfoods.