- Some vegetables have the ability to keep you warm
- Spinach has anti-cancer properties
- Beetroots are extremely nutritious and delicious
The chilly winters are here! In this season, we always look for foods that are comforting and can protect us from the cold winter. It is time to fill your kitchen shelves with the winter vegetables that are beneficial for your family and loved ones. But without knowing these winter vegetables, you cannot keep your family healthy. Winter brings a whole lot of greens with its amazing nutritional value. Some vegetables have the ability to keep you warm, even under the blanket of snow. There are plenty of produce that are rich in nutrients and flavor during this time of the year. These are known as winter vegetables, and can help us withstand cold, chilly winds of the harsh weather.
Include these vegetables in your diet for healthy winters:
A nutritious leafy vegetable, spinach helps to prevent premature ageing, prevents vision loss, boosts immunity and has inflammatory properties. It also protects the body from a number of diseases and maintains the brain functions and the nervous system especially in patients of advanced age. The antioxidant properties of the spinach help in the prevention of cancer and help to relieve chronic abdominal distress. This leafy vegetable is full of nutritional properties and contains a large amount of essential nutrients. It has anti-cancer properties. It helps to promote healthy cell division, thereby improving the healing properties of the body. Spinach contains some essential vitamins like A, B, C, E, K, zinc, magnesium and large amounts of iron that is necessary for the red blood cells in the body. For all these reasons you can definitely call spinach a super food. Spinach can be used in salads or you can simply make a dish with cottage cheese or corn.
Nutritionist Monisha Ashokan said, "Spinach being an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals can be a great add on to your diet this winters. Being one of the richest in carotenoids spinach gives you high dose of vitamin A. Vitamin C in spinach acts as a powerful antioxidant. It helps promote good skin. The vitamin K and folio acid in spinach helps in normal cellular function and tissue growth Needless to say it's high fibre content helps you lose weight faster."
2. Mustard greens:
As the name suggests, these are the lacy-edged leaves of the same plant that produces mustard seeds. Mustard greens tend are less bitter and more peppery tasting than kale or Swiss chard. They are rich in beta-carotene. Our bodies need beta-carotene which can be converted to vitamin A to improve eye and bone health. Mustard greens also contain high amounts of phytonutrients called glucosinolates. These help protect the cells of our liver and other organs from all the nasties of free-radical damage.
A crunchy and delicious power food and contains all the vital vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A, B, B2, B3, C, D, E and K. Carrot is beneficial for eyes and prevents night blindness as it contains carotene. It prevents cancer; diabetes and helps in maintain a healthy heart. It is good for maintaining a good skin, hair and nails, regulating menstrual flow. Additionally, it can be included in your diet if you want to lose weight. You can use carrots in sandwiches, wraps or salads.
"Carrots are loaded with beta carotene which converts to vitamin A . This crunchy food can benefit your health in numerous ways. It contributes to better vision, slowing down aging process, preventing heart disease, healthier skin. Since Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out of toxins, it cleanses the body and reduces bile and fat in the liver," the nutritionist added.
A vibrant and colorful vegetable offers numerous health benefits. Moreover, they are extremely delicious. It contains iron, Vitamins A, B6 and C and many vital minerals. These micronutrients help in liver detoxification process, lower the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart diseases and helps increase white blood cells. Apart from this, it boosts our immune system and helps fight inflammation. "Over the last decade beet root has been included in the super food category for its health benefits. Including beets can help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. According to a study in 2012, beet root juice can improve plasma nitrate boosting your physical performance. Since it's low in calorie, adding beet root to your smoothies, dips and salads can add to the variety and help you maintain a healthy weight. Beet root provides minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium and phosphorus," Monisha said.
5. Sweet potatoes:
Sweet potatoes are specifically found in winters. They are an excellent and inexpensive food item which should be included in your winter diet list. Rich in fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins A , B6 and C, and antioxidants sweet potatoes offer several health benefits . As an added benefit, they are fairly low in glycemic index. They help you keep full for longer because of their fibre content. Apart from this, they help to prevent constipation, heart attack, flu viruses, common colds and also aid in the formation of blood cells. Good source of magnesium in sweet potatoes helps fight against stress and helps in relaxation. Nutritionist Monisha Ashokan further said, "Most health conscious people want to run away from the word “potato”. But I would say you will only benefit if you run to grab one of them. Sweet potato unlike what it's touted to be is one of the most satiating carbohydrates for losing weight. Sweet a potato is loaded with fibre and vitamins hence is an excellent fruit to prevent heart conditions. Rich in vitamin C it helps to fight common cold and flu in winters."
Delhi based nutritionist added, "This is my favourite among the brassica family. It's highly nutritious and prevents thickening of arteries. Loaded with beta carotene, it strengthens the immune system. Broccoli is one of the richest in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, zinc and selenium. It's high fibre content makes it ideal for someone who wants to lose fat. Best way to eat is adding in soups , salads , rice etc."
7. White radish:
"White radish is packed with potassium, sodium, Vitamin C and magnesium. It's is high in water content and low in calorie. It's aids to maintain nerve functions, it's helps you stave off symptoms of flue, cancer, coronary heart disease. Include this as a part of salads , paratha fillings or vegetable preparation, Monisha Ashokan added."
Also read: 7 Vegetables You Should Never Eat Raw
Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal adds, "Vegetables available in the market during winters are amongst those that have survived the cold and managed to sustain its nutritional values to core. Therefore, when it comes to winter, it is all about loading up your refrigerator's vegetables basket with green leafy vegetables."
She further suggests some vegetables to be included in your diet. "Spinach which is an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, K and C. Beans are nutrient dense vegetable which doubles up the nutritional value, especially the protein source, when added to grains. Radish is majorly found during winters, has significant content of vitamins B, C and potassium as well. Green peas are high in fiber and polyphenol antioxidants responsible for several health benefits. At the end, not forgetting the bright red carrots which are a great source of beta-carotene that can be converted in vitamin-A in the body and is also important for proper immune functioning."
(Nmami Agarwal is a celebrity nutritionist at Nmami Life)
(Monisha Ashokan is a city based nutritionist at Nourish Me)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.