Fresh vegetables, au naturel even in Winter, can provide an uplifting and nourishing basis for a meal. Here’s my top 10 list of everyday vegetables, along with the main reasons why you’ll thrive on them. See if you can get half of them into your diet one week, and the other half in the next: in the span of a fortnight, you’ll be feeling like Hercules!
Top 10 raw winter vegetables
Beetroot – helps build your immunity, stamina and vigour. Contains protein, carbohydrates and fibre, along with significant minerals, including iron, potassium and magnesium. It benefits your liver, blood, and heart, being a detoxifier, stabiliser of blood sugar and binder of cholesterol. More than that it can cheer you up as it also contributes to serotonin production.
Use: grate, julienne, spiralise or juice it.
Broccoli – especially good for skin, bones, and the nervous system. Has more vitamin C than citrus, and is high in fibre, folic acid (cells & DNA) and minerals such as calcium, potassium and zinc. It can assist in regulating blood pressure, and is renown for its anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties.
Use: blanche, marinate, crumb or juice it.
Brussel sprouts – supports macular health and is alkalising which is particularly beneficial for the kidneys and pancreas. Contains protein, vitamin A, K, & B complex, in addition to minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron. Also rich in sulfur and fibre. Like all cruciferous vegetables it detoxifying, has a cholesterol lowering effect and contains anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Use: marinate or shred it
Cabbage (green & red) – alkalising: excellent externally for the complexion, and internally for the digestive tract, clearing it of putrefactive waste. A good source of vitamins A, C, E, fibre, and minerals such as iodine and calcium. It strengthens the immune system, helping to kill bacteria and viruses. It also inhibits the growth of cancerous cells.
Use: shred, marinate, press, or ferment it (for fabulous sauerkraut).
Cauliflower – a blood purifier and helpful for asthmatic conditions, kidney and bladder disorders. Contains vitamin K & C, and minerals such as folate, boron, and fibre. Helps cellular detoxification. Is anti-inflammatory so helps conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Supports immune system and cardiovascular health. Helps regulate blood pressure.
Use: crumb or blanche it.
Celeriac – has diuretic qualities and benefits the lymphatic, nervous and urinary systems. Is useful for those with kidney stones or arthritic conditions. Contains vitamins K (bone mass & neural health), C, fibre, and essential minerals such as folate, B6, magnesium, and manganese.
Use: grate or julienne it.
Kale – is a powerhouse of nutrients that detoxifies the body and builds the immune system. Exceptionally rich in chlorophyll, calcium, iron, and betacarotene. The presence of flavonoids provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits, and glucosinolates lowers the risk of developing several types of cancers.
Use: marinate, juice, add it to smoothies.
Parsnip – has diuretic properties that will support the health of your liver, kidneys, bladder, and spleen. Contains vitamiin C and calcium. The complex carbohydrates will give you plenty of energy, and the fibre will encourage bowel action.
Use: crumb or spiralise it.
Swede – alkalising and detoxifying so helpful for the liver. Anti-biotic and anti-viral qualities may help with bronchial disorders, asthma and sinus problems. Contains glucosinolates which is anti-cancer.
Use: grate or spiralise it.
Sweet potato – best vegetable of all for betacarotene which maintains macular health and protects us against colds, infections and even cancer. A good source also of vitamins C & B6 (heart disease), fibre, and minerals such as iron, potassium and magnesium. Has strong anti-oxidant properties.
Use: grate or spirialise it.
PS: My winter vegetable recipe pack is in production. It will be available to download from this site in Jan 2012. Don’t forget to return. If you add yourself to my ezine list you’ll get a gentle reminder. Use the free subscription button at the top of the page.