Is winter over yet? In case you did not hear, it snowed here in Atlanta and the whole city completely shut-down. In chill, dreary times like these it is easy to forget that there are still fruits and vegetables coming into season. Eating seasonal produce is a great way to vary your diet and it saves money because fruits and vegetable cost less when they are in season. To help you pick the best winter has to offer, I have compiled a list of my favorites.
Sweet potatoes: Packed with vitamin A, vitamin C as well as a great source of potassium and manganese. Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes . The best part about these is how many ways you can cook them. One of my favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes in the winter is in soup. One of my favorite recipes is for Nutty Sweet Potato Soup; you can find it here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/nutty-sweet-potato-soup-recipe.html
Root vegetables: Think rainbow carrots, beets, parsnips and turnips. Root vegetables grow in soil making them good sources of essential minerals. Beets are one of the best foods you can put in your body. They are a natural source of nitrates which allow more oxygen into the bloodstream, they are a liver cleanser, and they are an excellent energy source . Bonus to beets: beet greens! Beet greens are high in vitamin K, add them to a salad or sauté in olive oil and garlic.
Pears: Full of fiber and potassium, pears also contain the antioxidant quercetin which prevents cancer and damage to arteries . Pears are great for juicing, one of my favorite juices for the winter is PBC juice. Juice 1 beet, 1 lemon, 2 carrots, 2 pears and enjoy.
Citrus: High in vitamin C which not only supports your immune system to fend off winter colds, but is also a powerful antioxidant .
Brassicas: This family of vegetables includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts. While all are good sources of vitamins, what makes this family special are its detoxifying abilities. Brassicas contains sulphoraphane and glucosinolates which help your liver’s detoxification processes .
- “Nutrition Facts.” And Analysis for Sweet Potato, Cooked, Baked in Skin, without Salt [Sweetpotato]. SELF, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2667/2
- Full Circle Farm. “6 Health Benefits of Eating Beets.” Good Food Life. Full Circle Farm, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. http://www.fullcircle.com/goodfoodlife/2012/05/10/6-health-benefits-of-eating-beets/
- “Pears: Natural Weight Loss Food.” Discovery Fit and Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/natural-foods/natural-weight-loss-food-pears-ga.htm
- “Health Benefits of Citrus Fruit.” Healthy Eating. Dairy Council of California, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. http://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/All-Star-Foods/Fruits/Article-Viewer/Article/204/health-benefits-of-citrus-fruit.aspx
- “Cauliflower.” World’s Healthiest Foods. George Mateljan Foundation, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13