Want to have optimum health and look great all winter long?
If the answer is yes, you need to make sure you’re eating your winter vegetables.
- The Benefits Of Eating Veg
- The Most Nutritious Vegetables
Most of us are aware that raw vegetables are the best way to get the most nutrition and stay younger and healthier for longer.
But if you struggle with raw vegetables or want a change, why not switch some of your meals for roasted vegetables which taste amazing in winter.
Although roasted vegetables don’t have quite as high a nutritional value, they offer lots of antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals to ward off illness in the dark, dull and cold weather.
Roasted vegetables are wonderful because they are warm to eat giving you extra comfort on those dark winter nights.
It’s lovely on a chilly winter evening after a busy day to indulge in a tasty, warm and healthy dinner.
But as we have pointed out in many of our previous blog articles, consuming large quantities of meat can do more harm to your body than good and it causes added stress on the digestive system.
Having a few days a week eating just vegetables can really give you your body a health kick, which is even more important in the winter when your immune system has to work harder thanks to all the germs floating about.
If you regularly eat a wide selection of tasty vegetables as part of your normal daily diet, your body will be getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals required for its many functions.
Vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and there is no other food group that contains as many of the essential nutrients that the human body needs as vegetables!
It is important to eat lots of vegetables as some vitamins and minerals can be as vitamins A & E are stored for when the body requires them, but other important vitamins such as B-complex are flushed out of the body if they do not get used up so it is important to top up every day.
Vitamins found in vegetables help to give your immune system a boost too.
Which is why it’s always good to eat more in the winter when there are colder and flu germs being passed around and your body needs to be better equipped to fight them.
Vegetables are Low in Calories
Vegetables contain very low calories, and so it’s wonderful as you can eat lots of them and not have to be too concerned over your weight.
This is why it’s such a great food group to get a load of when you’re dieting or exercising to get in shape and why at Amchara we use them in our juices and smoothies.
Vegetables are much kinder on the body too, as they are easier to digest so there is less stress put on your digestive system.
This is very different than dairy and meat which I always recommend you keep to a minimum or avoid altogether where possible.
The greatest benefit of vegetables is that they are brimming with phytonutrients, which have been proven in various studies to help reduce the risk of cancers.
When phytonutrients are digested they work by neutralising free radicals which are known to play a vital part in cancer formation, growth and spreading.
They help to repair and protect the cells from these free radicals and this can help you to live longer and to keep you looking younger for longer.
To get the best-roasted vegetables, simply peel and chop your vegetables into even-sized chunks and place in a mixing bowl with extra virgin olive oil and dried or fresh herbs then place in the oven and roast on 180C for around 45 mins to an hour.
Vegetables are powerhouses of nutrients and are very essential in our daily diet.
With so many vegetables to choose from and so many delicious recipes that you can make from them, including vegetables in the daily diet to make it a healthy diet is not difficult.
Let us look into the most nutritious vegetables available.
These vegetables include spinach, kale, celery, dandelion, lettuce, fenugreek, mustard green etc.
Green leafy vegetables are very rich sources of minerals like potassium etc.
They also contain a lot of vitamins like A, C and K.
Green vegetables are vegetables high in iron.
Green vegetables also include zucchini and bitter melon which also have plenty of health benefits as they are high in nutrients.
These vegetables can be eaten raw or added into soups.
These can be lightly cooked or steamed too and can be eaten with some lemon juice and salt sprinkled over it.
Cruciferous vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower fall in this category.
These vegetables also help to reduce the retention of water within an individual.
There are plenty of cruciferous vegetables in the green vegetables list.
Broccoli can be eaten in soups, salad or by steaming it.
Cauliflower can be eaten in gravies and can also be steamed.
Carrots contain a lot of vitamin A, probably the only vegetable that is rich in vitamin A carotenes.
Also a good source of various other vitamins and minerals, carrots are great as they reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Carrots also help to protect vision.
Carrots can always be eaten raw or can be used in various baked and steamed vegetables recipes.
Carrots are also one of the most nutritious vegetables for babies.
So, ensure that you add this vegetables in the diet of your infant.
You could steam it and mash it to feed the baby.
Carrots are root vegetables and can be eaten as a salad or in preparation of other root vegetables like onions, beets, turnips and radish.
A very good source of vitamins A, C and K, tomatoes are also full of so many minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, folate and iron. It is rich in vitamin B like B1, B6 and B12.
Tomatoes also contain lycopene and anticancer properties.
Soups and mixed salads containing cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce are the best way to include tomatoes in the daily diet.
Tomato juice can also be added in the diet.
Available in a variety of colors like green, red, yellow and purple, bell peppers find themselves in the most nutritious vegetables list due to the great content of vitamin A.
In addition to vitamin A, these vegetables also contain fiber, manganese and folate.
Bell peppers can be added to a variety of recipes like pastas and salads.
Beans like lima beans, green beans string beans and pinto beans contain a lot of vitamins.
However, these are not preferred by many. You could try combining these with other foods like fish and meat.
Ensure that you include these at least twice or thrice a month for the vitamin requirements.
Asparagus has been used as food since ancient times.
Asparagus is full of vitamins and folate amongst other minerals like fiber.
Eating asparagus in not difficult as it can be made into soup or can be used in vegetable preparations.
Rich in vitamin A, C and K as well as in different minerals like fiber, potassium and B complex, a cup of Brussels sprouts is enough to provide all these necessary nutrients.
Brussels sprouts also have antioxidant properties and lots of calcium and copper.
Brussels sprouts look like cabbages because they belong to the cabbage family.
Consumption of Brussels sprouts help in reducing the occurrence of ovarian, colon and lung cancers.
In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, sweet potatoes are good source of vitamins B6 and C, potassium and iron.
Potatoes find themselves a place in the list of protein rich vegetables.
These can be eaten boiled and mashed.
Baked sweet potatoes also taste good. You could add these potatoes to stir fries and soups too.
Peas are tiny but mighty.
They are good sources of proteins and carbohydrates and are low in fats.
These are also rich in vitamins and water soluble fiber which help in the digestive process.
The vitamins are essential in order to produce energy in the body.
Peas can be consumed raw or could be added to salads and soups.
Mushrooms are loved all year round.
Mushrooms are very less in calories and are excellent sources of potassium.
Copper, another important mineral required by the body, is also present in plenty in mushrooms.
In addition to these, mushrooms also contain various vitamins and are known for their antioxidant properties too.
Apart from making soups and stir fries, mushrooms can be used in a number of recipes to be included in the daily diet.