The chilly winters are here. This season brings us the most colorful fruits and vegetables in the market. All of them are rich in a variety of nutrients and flavors. The major reason for increasing our intake of this fresh produce is to build our immunity against the flu and cold viruses as well as stock our body with enough nutrients to last a few months post winter as well! Here’s my list of the 5 must have healthy winter vegetables!
Must Have Healthy Winter Vegetables
1. Mustard Greens
The famous ‘sarson ka saag’ is our go-to-immunity winter dish. Ever thought why? This low calorie, high fiber leafy green is also 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. This wide variety of Vitamins and Minerals perform many essential functions like blood clotting which makes it heart healthy, improving bone health and thus, reducing the risk of arthritis and osteoporosis. It also improves eyesight. The folic acid content is at par with levels needed for a healthy pregnancy and menopause. Last but not the least, the high fiber aids good bowel movements, easing hemorrhoids and constipation. Some other leafy greens like spinach and methi are also at their best in this season.
This crunchy powerfood, especially the red variety available during winter, contains a good amount of vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A, B2, B3, C, D, E and K. We all know about it’s benefits for a good eyesight and healthy skin because of it’s beta carotene. Little do we know that it contains high amounts of Lycopene, an antioxidant which helps prevent cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. Eating raw carrots or drinking carrot juice can help regularise blood flow, provide relief from pain and make you feel less fatigued during menstruation days owing to the carotene and iron content – making it a must have healthy winter vegetable.
3. White Radish
Do you enjoy relishing hot Mooli ke Parathe in winter? Then you’re definitely benefitting from the vitamins A, B6, C & E and minerals like potassium, phosphorus and zinc present in White Radish. This entire range of Vitamins and minerals gives our whole body an immunity boost. It has shown to have anti-congestive properties, which clear mucus from the throat and respiratory tract due to the common cold and cough in this season. The combination of phosphorus and zinc, helps get rid of dryness, acne and rashes on the skin and the high water content of radish keeps you well hydrated. Don’t forget to use the green leaves of this root vegetable to perk up the health benefits!
This vibrant and colorful veggie contains essential nutrients like folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Plus, they’re one of the most delicious, healthy winter vegetables out there! The red color which indicates the high iron content which helps in improving the total blood count and the Vit.C boosts immunity and improves our WBC’s.
Very importantly, Betaine present in beets can protect the liver from inflammation and damage caused by toxins and chronic alcohol consumption. It helps break down fatty acids in the liver and may help in treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. To add to it, they’re completely safe for consumption by diabetics as well! Puzzled? Well, yes. The Glycemic Index of beets is of medium range (61) but the glycemic load they provide is only 5. Which means although they release blood sugar levels slightly fast after consumption, the total carbs present in them are comparatively very low.
5. Sweet Potato
Winter comes and you get to see hand carts on the streets filled with this excellent and inexpensive food item. These orange-hued delights are loaded with twice the fiber when compared to other types of potatoes. B6 content in it reduces homocysteine which has been linked to heart attacks. Vit.C and antioxidants protect us from flu viruses and common colds. They also aid in the formation of blood cells. Sweet potatoes contain a good amount of Magnesium, essential for blood pressure regulation and nerve relaxation which in turn helps reduce stress. Plus, since they’re fairly low on the glycemic index, they’re beneficial for diabetics and also great for filling up without getting weighed down.
We hope these healthy winter vegetables help you level up your health and build immunity during this season! For more on nutrition and winter, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to LIVE sessions by experts on GOQii Play.
Eat healthy and #BeTheForce