A vegetable-rich diet is essential in maintaining good health. As the seasons change, however, several popular vegetable choices either become pricey or disappear from the market stalls all together. Fortunately, there are plenty of winter vegetables that are perfect for boosting and maintaining your nutrition.
1. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a great example of winter vegetables, with their peak season running from September to February. They have the same health benefits as the more popular cabbage and a high level of cancer-fighting antioxidants, which protect your DNA from some of the harmful compounds your body contains.
Brussels sprouts can stay fresh for weeks when you store them in your fridge. All you will need to do is remove their shriveled outer leaves before cooking.
Parsnips are best during the late fall and early spring. Though they are lighter in color, their texture and taste are similar to carrots. Parsnips go well with almost any winter stew, soup, or casserole and are a great source of vitamin C, manganese, folate, and potassium.
3. Winter Squash
Winter squash are generally available from late September to early March and refer to various squash types, such as acorn, delicata, spaghetti, and butternut.
Though they have varying nutrient content, they are high in fiber and low in calorie content. They also contain potassium, carotenoids, and vitamin A. Winter squash are also quite versatile. You can mash or roast them or use them as an alternative to pasta.
Though they might seem firm, they continue to ripen even after you pick them. You can, however, slow the ripening process down by keeping them in a slightly humid environment. If you store them in the right conditions, winter squash can stay fresh for up to three months.
Persimmons are a perfect source of fiber and vitamin A and only have about 120 calories. When ripe, persimmons have a sweet and rich flavor, making them an ideal stand-alone snack option. You could also add them to several recipes.
Persimmons come in two types, the Fuyu and the Hachiya. The Fuyu is shaped like a squashed tomato, while the Hachiya is shaped like an acorn.
5. Snow Peas
Snow peas are an excellent winter vegetable that you can either use in your salads or as a midday snack. They are a great source of magnesium, potassium, fiber, phosphorous, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, and vitamins A, B6, C, and K. Furthermore, with only 35 calories for every one-cup serving, snow peas are a low-cal option.
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Staying on top of these and many more healthy options during the winter can be daunting for many. Fortunately, MediPlan Diet Services is here to help you stick to your diet during the winter seasons.
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