Eating in Season

Given that we are still a good month away from Spring, if you haven’t looked into it yet, they are some awesome winter vegetables that you can include in a variety of delicious recipes. If you eat in season, you usually get fresher produce that can offer more beneficial nutrients. Eating in season is also a nice way to support local farmers and help the environment. Most winter vegetables grow from November through March. What follows is a list of 9 awesome winter vegetables, so yummy in those fall/winter comfort food recipes.

9 Awesome Winter Vegetables

  • Beets: they offer fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. They also contain nitrates, which help with blood flow and blood pressure.
  • Broccoli: it contains antioxidants like carotenoids, chlorophyll, vitamins E and K, essential minerals, and it is also high in fiber and cancer-fighting compounds such as glucosinolates.
  • Brussels Sprouts: they offer a wide variety of antioxidants (that can be good against cancer too), fiber, calcium, potassium, folate, vitamins C and K.
  • Cabbage: all types of cabbage contain a high amount of fiber, vitamins C and K, manganese, and antioxidants like anthocyanins.  As mentioned in a previous post, anthocyanins can help with heart disease, among other things.
  • Carrots: they offer beta-carotene (vitamin A), helping with eye health and skin health. They have numerous antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin (that can help with healthy aging), plus vitamin K, potassium, vitamins B1 and B3, and fiber.
  • Cauliflower: it is packed with essential vitamins, carotenoids, fiber, soluble sugars, folate, potassium, and several antioxidants that can help lessen oxidative stress.
  • Escarole: one of the many dark greens that offers fiber, vitamins C, A, and K, calcium, plus iron. It contains antioxidants and polyphenols, helping with aging.
  • Kale: it is high in flavonoid antioxidants like quercetin, and vitamins A, C, and K, B vitamins, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, plus magnesium.
  • Winter Squash: just like sweet potatoes, it is high in vitamin A (alpha-carotene and beta-carotene), vitamins C and B6, magnesium, fiber, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.

In Summary

After gathering a few of these nutritious vegetables (organic whenever possible), the choice is yours: you can simply roast them, make a vegetable soup or stew, saute some greens with garlic, or add some cut-up roasted veggies to a frittata or to a leafy green winter salad. What will you try first?

Until next time!

References

Cowan, M.D., Thomas. How (& Why) to Eat More Vegetables. Library of Congress No. 2016934925, 2016, p. 25.

Levy, Jillian. “Top 12 Winter Vegetables to Eat & Grow.” Dr. Axe, 12 Jan. 2021, draxe.com/nutrition/winter-vegetables/. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

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The egg yolk and cholesterol

When I was little, I didn’t like the texture of the hard-boiled egg yolks, so I only ate the egg white. As I got older I believed that egg yolk consumption should be limited due to its cholesterol content. It turns out, as neurologist David Perlmutter states in Grain Brain, “Eating high-cholesterol foods has no impact on our actual cholesterol levels, and the alleged correlation between higher cholesterol and higher cardiac risk is an absolute fallacy.” Perlmutter adds that “dietary cholesterol actually reduces the body’s production of cholesterol, and more than 80 percent of the cholesterol in your blood that is measured on your cholesterol test is actually produced in your own liver.” Now knowing this, I eat eggs every day!

Egg yolk contains:

  • Omega-3 fats
  • Saturated fats
  • Vitamins A, E, K2, and B complex
  • Choline
  • Healthy cholesterol
  • A complete amino acid profile
  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents

In order to get the full array of nutrients, animals have to eat what they are meant to eat. When it comes to chickens, they should be eating things such as bugs, lizards, worms, and grass. So if you buy eggs from pasture-raised chickens, the yolk is going to have a deep-yellow/slight orange color. This color is a sign of a nutrient-rich egg. If you buy eggs of mostly grain-fed chickens, the yolk is going to have a pale-yellow color. 

The best options

It is best to avoid eggs from CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) chickens, just like CAFO meat. Organic eggs are the next best option if you can’t find eggs from pasture-raised chickens, but most organic eggs are from chickens that have been fed grains too. Also, eggs found in a store can be four to five weeks old. I like to buy eggs at local farmers’ markets, and I am also happy to find Pete and Gerry’s organic eggs at a nearby store.

We can prepare eggs in many different ways and even have them as a snack. As we now know that the yolk is perfectly fine to eat and that it brings us important nutrients, there is no reason to avoid such affordable healthy food.

References

Perlmutter, David, and Kristin Loberg. Grain Brain : The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers. New York, Ny, Little, Brown And Co, 2013, pp. 72, 228-29.

Sisson, Mark. The Primal Blueprint : 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016, p. 109.


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