Eight Cold Weather Superfoods
Many of us mark the cooler season with a couple extra pounds around our waists, or a case of the sniffles and a sad goodbye to all the fresh local produce we've enjoyed all summer long. The bounty of late fall and winter harvests offers delicious, satisfying superfoods that are just right for cooler weather and offer a cornucopia of tasty delights!
- Michigan apples and fresh, sweet natural cider are at your local produce market now! The apple's amazing array of benefits includes protection against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and asthma! Apples are harvested from August through November.
- Brussel sprouts are finally gaining popularity. They have great cholesterol-lowering properties, aid in the prevention of cancer, and have been found to actually improve DNA stability! New research on the the anti-inflammatory nature of many nutrients found in Brussels sprouts and their role the prevention of inflammation-related conditions is currently underway. Keep tuned for any new information about Brussel sprouts and Crohn's disease, IBD, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and ulcerative colitis. They're delicious roasted! They're harvested from September to March.
- Cauliflower is rich in the B vitamins 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9. Its high vitamin K content helps reduce inflammation and it offers omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that are also found in salmon and flax seeds, with extremely low caloric overhead! Cauliflower also helps keep your blood flowing to essential organs! It's harvested from September to June.
- Parsnips contain dietary fiber, folate, potassium, manganese and vitamins C, E and K. Tender and sweet, parsnips are great roasted or added to soups and stews. Parsnips are harvested from October to April.
Pears are a very good source of fiber and a good source of vitamin B2, C, E, copper, and potassium. They also contain a significant amount of pectin, which is a water soluble fiber. In fact, they're higher in pectin than apples, which aids their ability to lower cholesterol levels and in tone the intestines. Often recommended as a safe fruit to introduce to infants, they're less likely to produce an negative response than other fruits. Pears are harvested from August to February.
- All varieties of winter squash are excellent, nutrient-rich additions to you cold weather diet. They're good to excellent sources of beta-carotene, potassium, fiber, vitamin C and several B vitamins. Known to protect against cancer, heart disease, and cataracts, they may also play a role in reducing lung inflammation and emphysema. Eat roasted with a touch of cinnamon and ginger. Squash is harvested from October to February.
- Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, which helps maintain healthy arteries and blood vessels and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Rich in vitamins C and E and a great source of beta-carotene, they're also considered a superior source of fiber, which will help you feel satisfied longer. They're delicious and simple to prepare, just roast whole with skins on! They're harvested from September to December.
You can maintain good eating habits economically throughout the year by paying attention to seasonal favorites. Our needs and appetites change throughout the yearly cycle. As winter approaches, our bodies use more energy to keep warm, but our basic requirements are the same. Skip the starchy, empty fillers. Make healthy choices, you'll feel better, and you'll be able to skip that winter weight gain!