Winter is here, and unlike in the spring or summer, where you have a variety of vegetables to choose from, winter may not offer the luxury. However, some vegetables can still withstand the cold weather and make a great addition to your winter dishes. This article takes a look at the best winter vegetables to add to your diet during the winter.
Besides, eating what’s in season is the best way to ensure you reap all the nutrients.
1. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are mini cabbage-like vegetables from the cruciferous family.
They grow during the winter and can withstand the freezing temperatures making them a great addition to your winter recipes.
Brussels sprouts are rich in nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, and K. It’s one of the best sources of vitamin K, with half a cup of cooked brussels sprouts providing up to 137 percent of your daily vitamin K requirements.
Vitamin K is essential for fighting inflammation, blood clotting, maintaining a healthy skeletal structure, and preventing conditions associated with a low bone mineral density such as osteoporosis and brittle bones.
They’re also rich in fiber, potassium, manganese, and antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels.
Although it can be grown all year round, kale is another nutrient-dense cruciferous vegetable that does very well in winter. It’s also among the best sources of vitamin C and K.
In fact, a cup of raw kale provides134 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement and 684 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement.
Kale contains additional nutrients such as fiber, antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol, vitamins A and B, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper.
Regular consumption of kale can promote better digestion, lower cholesterol, protect against certain types of cancer, improve eye health, and aid weight loss.
- Vegan Kale Salad
- White Bean And Kale Soup
- Air Fryer Kale Chips
- Braised Kale And Tomatoes
- Thai Kale Salad And Peanut Sauce
- Vegan Kale Pesto
- Sauteed Kale
3. Swiss chard
Swiss chard is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense vegetable and an excellent source of magnesium and vitamins A, C, and K.
It also contains antioxidants, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene, which promote eye function and improve night vision.
In addition, Swiss chard is high in betalains, a compound that prevents LDL oxidation and fights inflammation, thus reducing high LDL cholesterol complications such as heart disease.
Swiss chard can further boost brain power, strengthen the bones, improve digestive health, control blood sugar, reduce muscle cramps, enhance healthy hair, increase iron intake, and provide anti-cancer benefits.
Swiss Chard Recipes
Although carrots can be harvested during the summer, they reach their sweetest pick in the colder months. This is because, during winter, the stored starch in carrots is converted into sugar to help protect the water within the cells from freezing.
This ability to withstand harsh conditions doesn’t come in vain, as carrots have been shown to offer multiple benefits. Read About Black Carrots
They are packed with antioxidants such as carotenoids which have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers such as breast and prostate cancer.
They are also rich in pectin, a form of soluble fiber that has been shown to slow the digestion of starch and glucose metabolism. This fiber has also proven to lower cholesterol and feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, thus helping improve health by boosting immunity and reducing the risk of disease.
In addition, carrots are rich in essential nutrients such as potassium, lutein, anthocyanin, biotin, vitamin k1, vitamin B6, and vitamin A, with one large carrot providing up to 241 percent of your daily vitamin A requirements.
- Vegan Carrot Raisin Slad
- Air Fried Carrots
- Sauteed Carrots and Chocho
- Carrot Cake
- Carrot Cake Donuts
- Air Fried Carrots
- Candied Carrots
5. Collard greens
Collard green is another nutritious cold-hardy plant to include in your diet during winter.
It’s slightly bitter, probably because of its high calcium content, but trust me, it’s delicious with way more benefits than you think.
Besides, its high calcium is essential for your bone health, nerve transmission, muscle contraction, among other benefits.
They are also high in vitamin K, which has been shown to lower the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Collard Greens Recipes
6. Red cabbage
Although both red and green cabbage are cool-season vegetables that can withstand frost during winter, the red cabbage has a much greater nutritional profile. This includes antioxidants; vitamin C, which is essential in supporting your immune system; vitamin K, which promotes bone metabolism and calcium regulation; and vitamin A, which helps the immune system, promotes eye health and protects against certain cancers.
A cup of chopped red cabbage contains 85 percent of your daily vitamin C requirements, 42 percent of your daily vitamin K requirements, and 20 percent of your daily vitamin C requirements.
Antioxidants in red cabbage, especially anthocyanins, have been shown to promote health, including lowering the risk for cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and coronary artery disease.
Radishes are crunchy and spicy vegetables, often peppery due to their sulfur-containing compounds, isothiocyanate. Isothiocyanate acts as an antioxidant and can help boost your body’s ability to fight infections during the winter, including protection against inflammation.
This compound may also help fight against cancer.
While most spices can’t make it through the winter, parsley can thrive even when covered in snow.
It not only adds aroma to the food, but it’s also packed with nutrients including vitamins A, C, and K, iron, folate potassium, and calcium.
Parsley contains other vital nutrients, including apigenin and luteolin, two powerful flavonoids known to prevent memory loss and other age-related brain changes.
Vegetables are essential for your health and wellbeing. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber which your body needs to function.
But since not all vegetables grow all year round, especially during the winter, it was worth looking at those that can survive the winter weather to ensure you are getting all your nutritional needs met.
Some of the best winter vegetables you should think of adding to your diet include Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, radishes, parsley, red cabbage carrots, and swiss chard.
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