Healthcare 101: Working Healthy Winter Veggies into Your Diet
With the new year underway, it’s a great time to find fun and creative ways to work winter veggies into your diet.
Vegetables that are seasonally available in winter usually fall into the categories of root vegetables and leaf vegetables, depending on whether the vegetable grows above or below ground. Root vegetables (such as carrots, yams, potatoes, beets, radishes) include true roots, as well as other underground parts such as bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers. No matter what they’re called, they all have some pretty great health benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer, reduce inflammation, provide detox support and more! Winter leaf vegetables are primarily members of the cabbage family, which includes chard, collards, kale and spinach. Health benefits from these green, leafy plants can include lower cholesterol, a decreased risk in eye diseases, and a lesser risk of certain cancers such as colon cancer. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower are also considered winter vegetables. Incorporating cruciferous vegetables into your diet can help promote weight loss, reduce cancer risks, prevent stroke, and reduce inflammation in the body.
If you’re not particularly fond of vegetables, working more vegetables into your diet can be difficult any time of year. However, there are several ways to add vegetables to other types of foods in ways that make the vegetables less noticeable — and they taste delicious! Try our tips.
Smoothies are a good way to add veggies to your diet in any season. During the winter, you can easily blend greens such as kale and spinach into a classic smoothie without changing its taste or texture. A common recipe for a veggie smoothie consists of a frozen banana, two handfuls of spinach, one cup of almond milk and a tablespoon of almond butter.
Carrots are also a healthy addition to smoothies. Carrot juice is readily available, and you can also make it at home with a juicer. Grated carrots are an easy way to adding veggies to a smoothie that retains the fiber lost during juicing.
Good news: pizza typically has a cheese base, which makes it an ideal platform for loading up on veggies! Roasted root vegetables such as potatoes and squash work well, and you can also top a pizza with greens such as spinach. You can also add pureed greens to tomato sauce to increase the pizza’s veggie content. Salads are also a common side dish for pizza that makes for a complete meal, so be sure to work in those winter greens in there, too. A mixed veggie pizza goes especially well with an arugula salad topped with Parmesan cheese.
Many soups have veggies in them already, so adding more won’t come as much of a surprise. But it’s important to keep in mind! For example, a can of pureed root vegetables such as potatoes or squash is a healthy addition to a traditional chicken soup. This technique thickens the soup while also increasing its veggie content. Pureed butternut squash, carrots and sweet potatoes are also healthy additions to chili and stews. Mouth watering yet?
Scrambled eggs and omelets provide a great opportunity to eat more veggies in the winter. You can add an entire serving of minced broccoli to scramble eggs with very little change to their taste. Also try adding steamed or pureed cauliflower to an omelet’s filling to increase its veggie content. You can also add a chicken or tuna salad to a veggie omelet to make a complete meal.
Keep your winter healthy with these winter veggies! And if you happen to catch a nasty winter bug, you can visit your nearest CareSpot location for a diagnosis and treatment plan.