As our previous generations used to say, you should always eat food that is available in the season. The changing of the seasons provides us with the unique opportunity to buy a variety of fantastic foods that are only available during that season. Seasonal foods offer a natural diversity that we should take advantage of when eating holistically for our health.
It's winter, now we are surrounded by a variety of colourful vegetables which have many health benefits. The major winter vegetables are carrot, peas, cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, radish, bottle gourd, sarshe shak, drumstick, etc. Many people do not know the actual health advantage of winter veg. Let's see which veg is good for us-
CARROTS contain vitamin A, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Evidence suggests that eating more carrots can help reduce the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Half a cup of cooked CABBAGE has about a third of the vitamin C you need for the day. It also gives you doses of fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and K, and more. This helps protect you from other health issues because inflammation is linked to things like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease, also good for digestion, diabetes, weight loss.
CAULIFLOWER is considered a super food because it is high in fibre, and vitamins B and C. It also contains high concentrations of carotenoids (antioxidants). It provides antioxidants and fights against cancer, enhances weight loss and digestion.
TOMATOES are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, it reduces risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
LETTUCE- It provides calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and folate. It is low in calorie which is helpful for weight loss, diabetes.
MUSTARD LEAVES [Sarse shak] are low in calorie and provide an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, folic acid and minerals like calcium, carotenes, manganese, copper, magnesium, protein, potassium, and iron. High content of anti-oxidants, they have anti-cancer effects, good for heart disease, bone health, bowel movements, menopause, pregnancy & anaemia.
SPINACH is another important vegetable for our health in cool weather. It strengthens bone health, lowers blood pressure, combat iron deficiencies, prevents constipation and similar issues, help with cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and asthma.
GREEN PEAS are most nutritious leguminous vegetables rich in health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Good source of Vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, folate and phytosterols. Weight watchers can include these green gems in their diet as they are low in calories and high in fibre contents. It also offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
BROCCOLI- It prevents the thickening of arteries, preventing cancer, cataracts; Beta-carotene in broccoli strengthens the immune system along with minerals, like zinc and selenium, important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.
White radish- low in calorie, it aids in maintaining muscle, nerve and bloodstream functions and keeps bone and teeth strong.
BEETROOT is a vibrant and colourful veg, which contains a variety of unique health-boosting nutrients that you may not be getting elsewhere. Plus, they're delicious, contains iron, Vitamins A, B6 & C and many invaluable minerals. It helps in liver detoxification process, limits the possibility of Diabetes, Obesity and Heart Disease, helps increase WBCs, boosts our immune system and fights inflammation.
DRUMSTICKS (SAJNA)- It may help in increasing Breast Milk production for mothers. It is a good source of Vitamins A, C, Potassium and phosphorus, improves digestion, blood purification properties. It eases respiratory problems and purifies blood.
The Dietary Guidelines recommend making one-half of your plate full of fruits and vegetables. Colder temperatures that keep us indoors can result in body taking in less vitamin D than it receives during the summer. For this reason, you need to ensure that you receive enough vitamin D during the winter. One important thing we need to know is: During the winter we become very worried about our skin. The fruits and vegetables will provide the three most important nutrients for healthy skin: water, trace minerals, and antioxidants. Different types of winter vegetables can protect your skin.
Food that is available in winter not only tastes better, but may contain ingredients that suit the body's needs for that time of the year. In cold weather, our immune system needs more support to keep everything safe. During the winter months, there are certain vegetables that warm you up and are available in abundance. So, change your diet with this winter veg for these months and enjoy these winter vegetables.
When the temperature drops and winter arrives, it is important to ensure that everyone in the family continues to eat healthfully. By following the mentioned nutrition tips you can keep your family fit and healthy while boosting your immune systems.
Fahmida Hashem is Consulting Nutritionist & Assistant Creative Director at Protishabda Communications
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