6 Winter Time Vegetables For Long Life
Eating spinach is beneficial for maintaining healthy skin, hair and strong bones, as well as helping with digestion, lowering the risk for heart disease and improving blood glucose control in diabetics.
Spinach is a member of the Chenopodiaceae family, which also is found in nutritionally powerful foods like beets and Swiss chard.
Cooked Spinach is healthier than raw.
Yep, that’s right. The reason is when cooking spinach the cellular walls break down and the compounds within the spinach combine. Raw spinach is significantly higher in folate, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin and potassium. Ounce for ounce, cooked spinach provides greater amounts of vitamins A and E, protein, fiber, zinc, thiamin, calcium and iron. Heating spinach also helps free up some of its most important carotenoids for absorption, including beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A.
There are three types of spinach:
- Savoy spinach, which has curly or heavily wrinkled, dark green leaves
- Semi-savoy spinach, which is somewhat less wrinkly and good to use in cooking
- Flat-leaf spinach, the popular, smooth-textured variety that works well in salads and is best eaten raw. Baby spinach is a type of flat-leaf spinach.
Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of vitamin A; a large one contains more than 100 percent of the daily recommended intake, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vitamin A is an antioxidant powerhouse, and is linked to anti-aging benefits, cancer prevention and the maintenance of good eyesight.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of B6 vitamins, which are brilliant at breaking down homocysteine, a substance that contributes to the hardening of blood vessels and arteries, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health. Sweet potatoes’ potassium content is also helpful for your heart, as it lowers blood pressure by maintaining fluid balance, as explained by the American Heart Association. Potassium is also an important electrolyte that helps regulate your heartbeat.
This descendent of wild cabbage is a member of the Cruciferae family, along with broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and collards. Kale originated in Asia Minor; around 600 B.C., and Celtic wanderers most likely brought the vegetable to Europe.
Leafy green kale is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C & magnesium. It also has plenty of dietary fiber, copper, calcium, vitamin B6 and potassium.
Look For: Crisp, tender leaves that are bright in color.
Kale freezes well and tastes sweeter and more flavourful after being exposed to a frost. Tender kale greens can provide an intense addition to salads, particularly when combined with other strongly flavored ingredients
The incredible nutritional health benefits of butternut squash is difficult to overstate. With over four times the recommended daily value of vitamin A in just one serving and an impressive list of other vitamins and minerals.
Butternut squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. Beta-carotene helps to prevent eye problems, such as dry eyes and night blindness. Butternut squash also contain vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help keep you from getting cataracts or suffering from macular degeneration.
Butternut squash is also a good source of potassium, which helps lower your blood pressure. Potassium counteracts the effects of sodium, so consuming more potassium can help you lower your blood pressure.
Most superfoods are also cancer-fighting foods or have cancer prevention qualities, and butternut squash is no exception. That’s because the best way to reduce your risk of cancer is to fuel your body with nutrients that keep it healthy and able to fight infection and disease.
One protein found in butternut squash has been found to inhibit the growth of melanoma (skin cancer) cells, making it a potentially potent anticancer agent. Additionally, the vitamin C content found in butternut squash nutrition may be useful in treating lung and ovarian cancers, as well as helping chemotherapy drugs target cancer cells more effectively without damaging other cells as much.
Parsnips are a root vegetable that is native to Eurasia and have been used extensively in that region since ancient times. It is closely related to carrots and parsley, and for that reason, it is often mistaken for carrots in historical records.
Parsnips can be eaten raw, as with carrots, but most of the common culinary applications require the root vegetable to be cooked.
Parsnips contain high levels of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and iron, in addition to an impressive range of vitamins, including vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K, as well as high levels of fiber and some protein.
Leeks have a unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the Allium vegetables should find their way in your diet on a regular basis. If you’re choosing leeks, make your individual portion 1/2 cup or greater, and try to include at least one cup of chopped leeks in your recipes.
Like their Allium cousins, onions and garlic, when preparing the leeks, let them sit out for at least 7-10 minutes after cutting and before cooking. The reaction that takes place is amazing. The oxygen reacts with the Allium in the leeks creating strong health elements that are not there if this process does not happen. If you cut onions, garlic or leeks and start cooking with them right after cutting you’re missing out on the powerful health properties the vegetable owns.
Brussels sprouts, part of the Brassica genus, are an edible bud. They’re mini cabbages, really, in the same family as kale and regular-sized cabbage. Sprouts are at their best once exposed to frost so by late winter Brussels sprouts be perfect.
At the market choose firm and bright green Brussels sprouts. When harvested too early, the sprouts contain a bitter taste and rough texture. On the other hand, they carry a sweeter, nutty, and pleasant flavor when freshly picked after a few touches of frost.
Brussels sprouts contain a high supply of phytonutrients which may help prevent cancer
It is a cool-season vegetable that does not tend to grow well in warm weather. A climate of steady, even moisture is the best for the plant, which is why sprouts are best suited for the conditions in Pacific Northwest.
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Chef Steven Pennington
Le Cordon Bleu Chef sharing food adventures from around the world with a style of cooking rooted in southwestern flavors using French culinary technique.