You’ve probably noticed the difference in flavor and price between a mid-winter melon and its summery equivalent if you’ve ever purchased one. This is because seasonal produce is fresher, less costly, and higher in taste and nutrients than produce purchased outside of season. Plus, eating in-season food is better for the environment because it doesn’t require long-distance transportation, which means you’ll be supporting local businesses and farmers as well.
Beets are root vegetables with edible leafy greens and a distinctive ruby red color. They supply a wide range of nutrients, including:
- Potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure.
- Manganese, a mineral needed for collagen production, which supports healthy skin and joints.
- B vitamins, like folate, which provide energy. Research has also linked low folate intake to depression.
The cruciferous vegetable family includes this crisp green. In a 2021 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, 684 older women were examined and found to have less calcium build-up in their arteries if they ate more broccoli. Calcium deposits can cause arterial hardening and have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease-related hospitalization and mortality. Broccoli also contains fiber and vitamin K, both of which are beneficial to bone health.
3. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts, broccoli’s relatives, resemble tiny cabbages. But don’t be fooled by their little size: these tiny jewels are antioxidant powerhouses. Antioxidants are chemicals that fight cell damage, lowering the chances of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Butternut squash
Butternut squash, with its yellow-orange colour, butterscotch flavor, and silky texture, is a sensory delight in my opinion. It’s also a good source of nutrients: 6 grams of fiber and 126 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin A are included in one cup of cubed roasted butternut squash, a nutrient vital for maintaining vision and eye health.
This cruciferous vegetable offers a lot of flavor to recipes without adding a lot of calories. In fact, 1 cup of shredded cabbage has just 18 calories and 4 grams of carbs, including two fiber-rich grams. Fiber is beneficial for blood sugar control and weight management.