11 Dec ‘Tis the Season…For Winter Foods!
‘Tis the Season…For Winter Foods!
“Whoever wishes to investigate medicine properly should proceed thus: in the first place to consider the seasons of the year.”– Hippocrates, the father of medicine (circa 400 B.C.) Similar to our atmosphere on earth, our bodies experience “seasons”, too. Through the ages, our survival has been dependent upon our evolutionary conditioning ability; we’ve learned to change, adapt, and live as a species despite environmental disturbances.
Seasonal changes, especially those during the Fall and Winter are infamous for causing an influx in illnesses, but did you know eating seasonally can help your body build your immune system and fight back? There’s a reason and a season for everything, and our food is no exception. Plants get their nourishment from the sunlight and soil, so when our environment experiences changes in moisture, sun exposure, and heat, the growth, flavor and composition of our food is affected, too. The natural cycle of produce provides the precise nutritional makeup our we need to heal us from the inside out.
Here are some foods in season for the Winter that will help provide what your body desires:
Citrus fruits such as: lemons, oranges, grapefruit, kumquats, blood oranges, limes, and clementines can help cheer you up when you’re feeling the dark days of the winter blues. Loaded with vitamin C and flavonoids, citrus fruits are known to contribute to the healing of digestive and cognitive diseases, diabetes and even cancer.
- How to Eat It: Simply feel and eat, juice, or add to salads.
Cabbage not only is light on your wallet, but is also loaded with vitamins and minerals (ex. Vitamins C and K and folate), fiber, antioxidants, and anti-carcinogenic compounds. Also, when in the form of sauerkraut, cabbage has the amazing ability to restore good bacteria and restore gut health.
- How to Eat It: Nutritional benefits are at their peak when cabbage is raw, so slice leaves up and add crunch to salads, stir fries, or put some sauerkraut on your meat and veggie dish or some salty flavor.
Sprouts are all the rage these days, and the brussel variety is no exception. Brussels sprouts, like other cruciferous veggies, have high levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants that can protect DNA from oxidative damage.
- How to Eat It: Roasted (tossed in oil and seasonings) and served as a side dish is the most popular way to eat this veggie.
Flesh from golden squash varieties (ex. Acorn and butternut) is loaded with beneficial nutrients and minerals such as carotenoids, Vitamin A, and potassium. They’re an excellent source of fibrous carbs to keep you feeling full and energized.
- How to Eat It: Roasted, in soups, add to salads, casseroles.
The antioxidant beta-carotene, is this veggie’s greatest asset. It’s a compound that converts to Vitamin A in the body which is essential for healthy eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Not to mention, carrots also loaded with Vitamin C, infamous for boosting our immune system.
- How to Eat It: Raw, roasted, in soups, salads, as a snack with some dip, or even in cake! This veggie is quite versatile!
Kale and collards (especially) are winter veggies that pack a powerful punch due to their vitamins A, C, K, and E, iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, and phytochemicals and antioxidant content. These properties not only help maintain a healthy digestive tract, but also fight cancer. BOOM!
- How to Eat It: Cooked or raw in salads, wraps, and sauteed as a side dish.
-Health & Wellness Coach