The holidays are a maze of food temptations, but winter is also a great time to enjoy healthy, seasonal produce. Many of these fruits and vegetables already have a well-deserved spot on our holiday plates. Here are five of our favorite foods to indulge in this season.
Not only are sweet potatoes rich in Vitamins A and C and beta-carotene, they are also a great source of copper. Copper is a key antioxidant enzyme. Ordinarily, with potatoes you need to eat the skin to get the most nutrients, not so with sweet potatoes.
These tart little berries are full of antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals and boost your immune system. So, go ahead and add that extra spoonful or two of cranberry sauce to your seasonal dinner plate.
Filled with Vitamins A and C, iron, manganese and fiber, beets also help purify your body, reduce inflammation and improve blood flow. An added benefit: these funny looking veggies are also an aphrodisiac! The Ancient Romans put beets to use medicinally and as an aphrodisiac, in part because of the high levels of boron – a nutrient that increases the level of sex hormones in our bodies.
Another great source of Vitamin C, green beans also contain silicon, a mineral important for bone health and the formation of connective tissue. The more your cook vegetables, the more the nutritious aspects of the food erode, so simply steam your green beans for 5 minutes to get the greatest health benefits.
Root vegetables are technically plants harvested for the roots. In addition to beets and potatoes, this category includes: carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions, garlic and the uniquely-named rutabaga, to name a few. You cannot make an incorrect choice when it comes to these winter vegetables. High in Vitamins A, C and beta-carotene, carrots can help reduce your cancer risk, while parsnips are rich in folate, a form of Vitamin B essential for women of child-bearing age.
Need more holiday eating tips? Check out our Holiday Food Survival Guide
Hill Country Apothecary wishes you a happy and healthful holiday!