The other way to know that it is winter besides the chilling weather and dropping temperatures is when your refrigerator is filled with greens, and you have so many options to eat healthy without having to think about the calories.
Green vegetables that are commonly found in the winters are low in calories and high in nutrients which keeps us warm, boosts our immune system and can help prevent seasonal illnesses such as cold and flu.
Let's take a quick look at the variety of greens that we get to eat in winters along with their nutritious value.
The dark green leafy vegetable is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants that helps prevent cancer, oxidative stress and maintain optimal levels of blood pressure.
According to US NIH, spinach has plant compounds that prevents macular degeneration and cataract thus protecting from blindness. It has proven to play an essential role in reducing the size of a tumour and depressing the growth of cancer cells.
Peas belong to the family of lentil and legumes that are generally high in protein and other nutrients like fibre, folate, manganese, vitamin K and thiamine.
According to PubMed, peas help in countering insulin resistance, triglycerides and cut down belly fat.
Peas also have a slight laxative effect on the body which helps maintain a healthy gut.
Kale belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables which include Brussels sprouts, broccoli and other dark green vegetables. It is one of the healthiest green vegetables to be found in winter as it can withstand chilly temperatures.
According to the PubMed Central, this vegetable is full of antioxidants, minerals like manganese, magnesium, calcium and copper, vitamin like A, B, C and K as well as other plant compounds. The flavonoids present have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce the risk of lung and oesophagus cancer.
Brussels sprout looks similar to mini cabbage, and it also belongs to the cruciferous family.
It can withstand low temperatures and that makes it one of the popular winter vegetables. The small sized-vegetable is a rich source of vitamin K which is 137 percent of the RDI.
According to the PubMed, vitamin K is essential for the healthy bones, heart and brain. The other nutrients found in Brussels sprout are vitamin A, B and C, potassium and manganese. The fibre and alpha-lipoic found in it helps maintain low blood sugar levels and optimum blood pressure respectively.
Fenugreek seeds are found in the Indian kitchen and used in recipes all year round but fresh green fenugreek leaves or methi is found in the winters only. Winters are the time when you can try methi saag and parathas for lunch with white butter at the top.
According to the US NIH, fenugreek leaves have various health benefits like it helps you reduce weight due to the high fibre content which makes you feel full for longer. It also helps prevent diabetes.
Radish is popular because of its versatility, especially when it comes to making pickle recipes in the winters. According to US NIH, radishes are rich source of vitamin B, C and potassium.
Radish is also rich in sulfur-containing antioxidants called isothiocyanates that have various health benefits like preventing cancer, reducing inflammation and inhibits the growth of breast cancer, prostate and colon cancer.
When it comes to the cabbage family, red and green cabbage are healthy, but the red ones have a higher nutritious value and can thrive in cool weather as well. A small cup of red cabbage contains 85 percent of the RDI of vitamin C along with vitamin A and K.
The bright colour of the cabbage is due to the presence of antioxidants called anthocyanins which have a number of health benefits like anti-cancer properties and prevent heart diseases as well.
The dark green vegetable which is rich in iron and a part of the cruciferous family can be consumed in the form of soups, salad, vegetable curry or as a part of the Chinese stir-fried vegetables. According to PubMed and Healthline, there are various benefits of making broccoli a part of your regular diet:
Rich source of fibre and helps aid digestion
Steamed broccoli can help maintain cholesterol levels
The superfood may help reduce the symptoms of an allergy
Reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Promotes healthier bone density