The unique health benefits of winter produce

As autumn takes hold and winter looms large, many foodies’ thoughts turn away from light salads and fresh fruits to warming comfort foods. Sitting by the fire with a mouthwatering and hearty meal on your lap is something we all aspire to when the colder months arrive.

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These winter warmers often come with a well-deserved reputation of being fattening, artery-clogging and drowning in cholesterol, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are plenty of winter foodstuffs you can eat without feeling guilty. In fact, many of them have positive health benefits.

Brussels sprouts

Sprouts – those Christmas dinner staples – are full of nutrients. A member of the cruciferous vegetable family (commonly called brassica vegetables) along with cauliflower, cabbage, kale and broccoli, sprouts are packed with glucosinolates.

These compounds are known to help our bodies protect themselves against cancer, so a helping of sprouts and other such vegetables a few times a week can help you avoid life-threatening illness. This is certainly something worth encouraging your children to eat! Sprouts also contain loads of vitamins K and C, so they’re a great way of getting enough of these essential vitamins.

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Beetroot

Beetroot – often referred to as beet – is an earthy root vegetable that many people enjoy as an accompaniment to meals. Packed with vitamins and minerals, beetroot contains the organic compound geosmin and has been proven to offer many health benefits.

Beets can be eaten raw on a salad, pickled or roasted. For some ideas about incorporating beetroot into your winter diet, try searching for online food recipes at a website such as http://food-tales.com/. You never know – you might find a new winter favourite!

Citrus fruit

We may not get them in our Christmas stockings any more, but we all love a satsuma or tangerine in the winter. Most citrus fruits are harvested during the winter months, and they all brighten up our lives in more ways than one.

Citrus fruit contains flavonoids, which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it is packed with vitamin C. According to the NHS, this essential vitamin has several important functions, including helping protect cells and keeping them healthy; maintaining healthy blood vessels, skin and bones; and assisting with healing.

Don’t skimp on the citrus fruit this winter, and you’ll stay healthy even when the winter winds bite!

 

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