Winter is the most troublesome season of all – it is so easy to catch a cold when you don’t get enough vitamins from the few foods that are available for cooking. But there is still a solid chance to stay healthy – just put these 5 products on your winter menu; they can either be eaten fresh or included into easy recipes; moreover, all of them are suitable for vegan recipes.
Potatoes have a slightly bad reputation due to the presence of white starch in their structure. In fact, unlike white rice or white bread, which lack beneficial properties, potatoes contain a number of healthy nutrients. They abound in vitamins C and B6 - a medium potato can give you about a quarter of the daily value of each. Potatoes contain folate (a daily must-have for women of childbearing age) and fiber (16% of the daily value for women and 10% for men). If you want to try some healthy recipes including purple potatoes, you are lucky to receive a bonus – they contain anthocyanins, which lower cancer and heart disease risks and reduce inflammation.
2. Winter Squash
All the various kinds of winter squash are equally good for winter dinner ideas. They are low in calories (just about 80 for a cup of cooked squash) and rich in vitamins A and C (214% and 33% of the daily value, respectively), as well as B6, K, folate and potassium. Spaghetti squash is good for low carb recipes, but all of winter squashes are simply delicious, especially in soup recipes!
3. Citrus Fruit
Citrus are as delicious and juicy in winter time as they can ever be. They are like little suns that light up our mood by their bright skin and fresh scent – citrus zest is the simple ingredient that can turn dessert recipes into masterpieces! Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C (100+% of the daily value in a single medium orange) and flavonoids, the predominating of which - hesperidin - is known for boosting “good” cholesterol and lowering “bad” one.
4. Winter Greens
Greens like chard, kale, mustard greens, escarole and collards are an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate. Winter colds do not intimidate their lush dark green leaves; quite on the opposite, frosts can even take away the excessive bitterness of kale. Winter greens are best for easy recipes – if you want to get the most of their health benefits, you should eat them as fresh as possible.
If you dislike the seedy structure of this fruit, you should go for its liquid form – pomegranate juice. It is rich in antioxidants, which help to lower “bad” cholesterol, thus saving your arteries from clogging. And even people who already have myocardial ischemia (a disorder caused by blockage of coronary arteries) can still benefit from drinking pomegranate juice, because it is known to improve blood flow to the heart. Besides its healthy properties, pomegranate juice has an application in gourmet cooking – it is used in sophisticated beef recipes.
Pick your gift now!