Colourful Winter Veggies.

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As the winter chill sets in, our senses are filled in by the wonderful aromas wafting in the air and eventually making it to our plates. Apart from the warm cakes and creamy tarts, what makes winter so special is the variety of colored edibles. Not just edibles, there is so much color all around. Be it your sweaters or jackets down to the colorful shoes and right up at the beautiful and colorful scarves and other woolens. Then there is the warm sunlight that gives a different shade to everything around you, basking it in sepia, gold and all shades retro. Add to it the lovely colors greeting you when you sit at the table. Beans, carrots, beets, cauliflowers.. You name it and winter has it! Read on to know more about the colorful and healthy vegetables during winter…

Beets.

beets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That rich earthy fragrance, the crunch.. It all reminds me of the rain beating down against the hot, dusty earth. The distinct earthy smell, that of having been freshly picked out from the Earth adds to the nostalgia of the season of memories and warm sunshine. The leaves and roots of this plant, both are edible with the former having a bitter taste and the latter being more sweet. Beetroot is usually rich purple in color, but it’s also found in white or golden. this veggie is highly nutritious being rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, folic acid, potassium, fiber and magnesium. The beetroot fiber has been scientifically proven to have incremental effects on the level of antioxidant enzymes in the body and also in increasing the number of white blood cells. Beets are available all throughout the year, but for some reason they make a roaring comeback during winter.

Cauliflowers.

cauli

 

 

 

 

 

 

These beauties never fail to tingle my taste buds. Whether it’s soaked in batter and fried golden brown or when mum makes a delicious mash kinda thing with some other veggies and mustard seeds, this is one vegetable that finds a place of pride in my winter diet. This flower-vegetable is made up of clustered florets that stop growing during its bud stage. These flower-heads contain a number of beneficial phyto-nutrients such as sulforaphane, vitamins, indole-3-carbinol and even dietary fiber. The phyto-nutrients, together have anti-estrogen properties and have been proven to benefit against colon, ovarian, cervical, breast, prostate cancers due to their cytotoxic effects on cancer cells. Di-indolyl-methane(DIM) is an effective anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent and also has immune modulator qualities. Then there is the presence of minerals like potassium, copper, iron, calcium, manganese.. I’m sure by this time you’ve thought of many a dishes involving this magic veggie.

Beans.

beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t judge these beauties by their slim appearance!

Fresh green beans are very low in calories and also contain no saturated fat. It also acts as a laxative, being very rich in dietary fiber. The fiber helps in protecting the mucous membrane in the colon by decreasing its exposure to toxic substances, as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the gut. They also contain ample amounts of Vitamin B6, Thiamine and Vitamin C. Wow. Who knew these slim babies had so much!

Carrots.

carrots

 

 

 

 

For anyone who grew up watching Bugs Bunny, carrots are linked with “Ehh, what’s up duck?” with a nasal tone.

And if you’re not really a fan of the toothy animal, there’s no reason to not be a fan of this crispy veggie. They are crispy, naturally sweet and have 41 calories per 100g, with no fat at all. And it’s fibrous too. The buck doesn’t stop here. It’s rich in beta-carotenoids, which is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidant that helps to protect the body from harmful oxygen-free radical injury. It also has functions of Vitamin A, thus helping in maintaining optical health, sperm production and good health and development. Studies have shown that the flavonoids present help in protecting against skin, oral cavity and lung cancers.  In addition, they are especially rich in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that act as co-factors to enzymes during substrate metabolism in the body. Phew. In case you weren’t a lover of carrots, here’s hoping you have already become one after reading this!

Spinach.

spinach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another childhood memory.

“I’m Popeye the sailor-man! (Hoot! Hoot!), I’m Popeye the sailor-man!(Hoot! Hoot!)”.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Ah, those good old days. I don’t know about the rest, but I’m pretty sure of Popeye’s contribution to my love for spinach. Little did I know that these green leaves are full of antioxidants and flavonoids, which are proven anti-cancer stuff, along with the presence of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium. Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found participants who consumed 300 grams of spinach a day reduced the amount of oxygen required to power their muscles while exercising by 5%. Researchers from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research found green leafy vegetables such as spinach and silverbeet are linked with a reduction in the risk of skin cancer, particularly among those with a previous history of the disease. Time to start spinach-snacking, eh?

Well, winter is here. So is the chill. And the warm clothes. Add to it the tasty and delicious veggies that end up in your plate. Now that you’ve read about some common and tasty winter veggies, what are you waiting for? Start munching on them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Believer. Reader. Brooder.