Photo cred – yummyinmytumbly
The one thing about living in Montreal is that it gets extremely cold during the winter months. And, although Montreal is still fruitful in the winter, I don’t see myself spending much time outdoors and I can almost guarantee the majority of the population feels me out here. Therefore, we are less active and are exposed to less sunlight. But no worries! Here is a list of five vegetables that you should absolutely have in your diet to ensure you are staying healthy during these cold winter months.
Why? Like its family, broccoli is tastier and sweeter in cooler climates. It is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin C, not to mention it is extremely low in calories. Broccoli also contains what is called IC3, which helps reduce the production of estrogen. Reducing estrogen can boost natural testosterone which increases fat loss. Plus, the majority of individuals usually have an excess of estrogen and results in lower back fat and love handles. Eating broccoli will prep you to look like a total babe for summer.
How to eat them: Toss 1 to 2 cups in your favorite salad or stir-fry’s.
2. Yellow Squash
Why? Yellow squash are low-in-calories. There is approximately 36 calories in a cup of squash. Since you are less active – you are not burning through as many calories as you would be in the summer so therefore your metabolism is slowing down. Squash also contains potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and it is a good source of magnesium. Squash is also known for his reduction in LDL (bad cholesterol). AND it is more commonly available around this time of year making it very accessible and cost-friendly.
How to eat them: Cut in half, bake in oven with your choice of spices – use to substitute any white carbohydrates like white potatoes or pasta.
Why? Beets are a great source of folate. You need folate to create and form red blood cells. Beets are also low-in-calories and extremely high in phytochemicals which means lots of vitamins and minerals. Not only that, but beets also contain nitric-oxide which gives you extra energy. They are also seasonal between autumn through spring and can be found with their leafy greens attached to them. If you don’t like the tastes of beets, there are beet extract pills available to give you the same benefits.
How to eat them: Cut them up and toss them into your favorite vegetable dish in the oven such as sweet potato.
Why? I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Kale is a great source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and it’s considered to be the most nutritious vegetable. Cooler climates actually give kale a sweeter taste too, making it easier and better to eat! There are over 20 health benefits to eating kale, such as lower blood pressure, digestion, source of antioxidants, boosts metabolism, promotes bone health etc etc. Kale also contains zero fat so don’t worry to scarf down a whole lot!
How to eat them: Like chips; bake them in the oven and they become crispy and delicious.
5. Mushrooms (preferably: Maitake Mushrooms)
Why? Maitake Mushrooms are loaded with Vitamin D. The daily recommendation to consume is 500IU (independent units). In about one cup of Maitake Mushrooms (raw), you get 740IU. If you are not accessible to Maitake mushrooms, normal white mushrooms are fine as well, but they only contain 115 to 145 IU per cup. However, if you have omega-3 fatty foods in your diet you will reach the daily recommended amount. Vitamin D provides energy and supports and maintains bone health. And you need to maintain those bones with all the slippery ice this season!
How to eat them: Sautee mushrooms in a pain with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and mint.
Remember, vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. These top 5 will definitely provide lots of vitamins and minerals to your diet but there are many many more that offer relatively the same benefits. Get yo’ grocery on.