Who needs comfort foods when seasonal produce can give you a mid-winter health boost?
(via Huffington Post) Forget winter comfort foods — think winter superfoods. It may be cold outside, but the grocer is still teeming with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to give you a health boost during the frigid months. But don’t select just any produce — go for seasonal.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, many fruits and vegetables peak during the colder months and offer nutrients that are quite beneficial to your health. And, buying seasonal will save you money!
Here are six winter superfoods you should incorporate into your shopping list today. But, hurry! Spring is just around the corner.
Don’t underestimate the health impact of those tiny little pomegranate seeds. They’re in season from late fall to early winter and are great sources of vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Get creative and sprinkle them on top of yogurt, oatmeal, salads and quinoa.
Citrus fruits are often available year-round, but there are many that actually peak during the winter months, such as navel oranges, grapefruit and mandarin oranges. They are a flavorful option for a winter sweet treat and an excellent source of fiber and vitamins A and C.
Fennel’s light, black licorice flavor is veiled in an exterior that looks equal parts celery and white onion. Fennel is high in folate (Did you hear that, expectant moms?), fiber, potassium and vitamin C and can easily be tossed in salads, topped in sandwiches and on steaks, and caramelized for burgers.
Root vegetables are typically pretty hardy, making it more difficult to destroy the nutritional benefits with cooking. Add turnips to soups and stews, or toss them in olive oil and roast. Either way, you’ll still get the nutritional benefits of this cruciferous vegetable: fiber; folate; carotenoids; and vitamins A, C, D, E and K.
- Brussels Sprouts
If you’re still on the fence about Brussels sprouts, now is the perfect time to give them a try. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and fiber to the table. Roast them with a little olive oil and dig in — roasting retains the nutrients, and the benefits are all yours.
- Leafy Greens
Need calcium? Forego the dairy and pile on the leafy greens — kale, Swiss chard or collard greens — for your daily dose. Leafy greens are also chock full of antioxidants and are an excellent source of iron and folate. Add leafy greens to your favorite dishes — salads, sauces, omelets or sautee them with cumin and add to tacos. If you’re in the mood for some crunch, replace potato chips with kale chips.
To learn more ways to add these winter super foods to your diet, go to HuffingtonPost.com.