7 Vegetables with nutrients still found in Winter
Many winter season vegetables taste better after a frost. This is because as temperatures drop, the cold causes the plants to break down energy stores into sugar, leading to a sweeter, tastier flavor. Following are the seven foods that taste best in the winter, making them ideal to add to your list.
One cup of kale contains just around 30 calories but will provide you with seven times the daily recommended amount of vitamin K1, twice the amount of vitamin A and a day’s worth of vitamin C, plus antioxidants, minerals, and much more.
This leafy green also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent arthritis, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases – plant-based omega-3 fats for building cell membranes, cancer-fighting sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, and an impressive number of beneficial flavonoids.
Kale has a 3:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio an exceptionally high amount of protein for any vegetable, and one reason why it has recently been acclaimed as the new beef.
Surprisingly, like meat, kale contains all nine essential amino acids needed to form the proteins within your body: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine – plus, nine other non-essential ones for a total of 18. Kale’s sometimes-bitter flavor becomes sweeter in winter and, impressively, kale can survive temperatures as low as 10 degrees F.
They become sweeter in winter, so if you think you don’t like them, try them again now. One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains just 56 calories but is packed with more than 240 percent of the recommended daily amount (RDA) for vitamin K1, and nearly 130 percent of the RDA for vitamin C.
Plus, Brussels sprouts are a good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, and B vitamins. They even contain protein. But not only do Brussels sprouts contain well-known antioxidants like vitamin C…
They also contain others that are much less known – but equally as important, like kaempferol, isorhamnetin, caffeic, and ferulic acids, and the relatively rare sulfur-containing compound called D3T (3H-1,2-dithiole-3-thione).
Kohlrabi is German for “cabbage turnip,” which is actually a spot-on way to describe this vegetable’s flavor. This is a great plant to add to your winter garden, as it thrives in cool weather. When planted several weeks before a frost, you can expect a harvest in just a few weeks. This root vegetable is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, along with such nutrition superstars as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
Glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds found in kohlrabi, appear to have anti-cancer, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and antibacterial benefits.
Mustard greens have a peppery flavor that’s better after a frost, and they make a perfect warming food on a cold winter day. Notably, they are providing 922 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin k1 in just one cup and vitamin A (96 percent of the recommended daily value). They rank second only to Brussels sprouts in terms of the cancer-fighting glucosinolates they contain.
Parsnips are root vegetables that resemble carrots but are whitish in color and have a sweet, nutty flavor. Their flavor is best after a hard frost. They are rich in nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin C. Eating foods rich in potassium is important because this nutrient helps offset the hypertensive effects of sodium. An imbalance in your sodium-potassium ratio can lead to high blood pressure and may also contribute to a number of other diseases, including heart disease and stroke.
Collard greens outshined even mustard greens in their ability to bind to bile acids in your digestive tract, which may help support healthy cholesterol levels. Plus, like mustard greens, they’re rich in vitamins K1 and A, along with cancer-fighting glucosinolates that support healthy detoxification and fight inflammation. Collard greens also contain a wealth of antioxidants, including not only vitamins C and A but also vitamin E, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol. This will help your body to ward of chronic oxidative stress, which may contribute to chronic disease and premature aging. Like the other winter vegetables mentioned, collard greens become sweeter after a frost.
Cabbage contains powerful antioxidants like vitamins A and C and phytonutrients such as thiocyanates, lutein, zeaxanthin, isothiocyanates, and sulforaphane, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes and may protect against breast, colon and prostate cancers. Cabbage also contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check.
Among them are anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol that’s particularly plentiful in red cabbage, although all types of cabbage contain anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Cabbage also contains healthy amounts of B vitamins, including folate (which is better than the synthetic form known as folic acid found in many supplements), vitamin B6, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5.