There are several reasons for wanting to consume the most healthy winter vegetables. First, seasonal eating benefits the local farmers, the environment & you too. According to the Seasonal Food Guide, it is much healthier to eat foods in a season than out of season. This is because foods are fresher, tastier & more nutritious in their season. This implies that you eat summer & spring fruits & veggies in the warm months while you eat winter & fall fruits & veggies in the cold months.
So, what vegetable can you get in winter when the snow is falling & the local markets (foot organic foods) are closed?
Well, a handful of plants will grow just fine regardless of how frigid it is outside, and they include beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celeriac & endive. With these vegetables, you can cook tasty & healthy recipes like mashed potatoes, crockpot soups & roasted vegetables with olive oil. Continue reading to see the healthiest vegetables you can find as the snow falls & the cold increases.
12 Most Healthy Winter Vegetables
Jerusalem artichokes are also known as sunchokes. They are a rich source of prebiotics, such as inulin, an important prebiotic that feeds the beneficial bacterial strains in the gut. Sunchokes are also rich in minerals like copper, iron & potassium.
Broccoli is a fibrous plant with a lot of cancer-tackling antioxidants like chlorophyll, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, vitamin E & K, and essential minerals, as well as compounds like glucosinolates.
Kale is full of flavonoids, such as kaempferol & quercetin, including B vitamins, vitamin A, C & K, copper, calcium, manganese, magnesium & potassium.
Brussels sprouts taste delicious when roasted, and they are also filled with antioxidants that help tackle cancer. Other nutrients in Brussels sprouts are vitamins C & K, folate, fiber, potassium & calcium.
Cauliflower is a great alternative to potatoes in a low-carb recipe. The veggie is rich in minerals like potassium & folate, essential vitamins, fiber, carotenoids, soluble sugars & phenolic compounds. Cauliflower has an impressive level of antioxidants, offering beta-carotene, kaempferol, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, cinnamic acid, and quercetin to lower the effects of oxidative stress on the body.
Escarole is dark green & contains low levels of calories while very high in fiber, calcium, vitamins A, C & K, and iron. The plant is also an excellent source of polyphenols & antioxidants, including flavonols, caffeic acid & vitamin C.
There are plenty of varieties of cabbage, all of which are high in fiber but low in calories. Cabbage is also rich in insoluble fiber, making it great for the digestive system. Other nutrients in cabbage are antioxidants, manganese, vitamins C & K.
Beets are very rich in nitrates and are considered as unique as a result. Nitrates help to foster healthy blood flow & pressure. They also contain high levels of folate, fiber, iron, manganese, potassium & vitamin C, including protective compounds like betanin & vulgaxanthin, which are anti-inflammatory compounds.
The addition of carrots to your diet is a good way to increase the consumption of beta carotene, which is supportive of eye health & the skin. Carrots are very rich in antioxidants like zeaxanthin & lutein, further fostering healthy aging and combating free radicals. Carrots also offer fiber, niacin, potassium, vitamin K & thiamine.
Fennel is popular for its digestive-promoting abilities, courtesy of the special compounds that it contains. Fennel offers antispasmodic, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory & antiviral qualities. Fennel bulbs are also rich in a couple of disease-tackling phenolic compounds, such as tannins, bioflavonoids, coumarins & phenolic acids, and B vitamins, vitamins A & C, and potassium.
Winter squash is quite similar to sweet potatoes in nutritional value. The crop is rich in alpha-carotene & beta-carotene, vitamin B6, vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, polysaccharides & anti-inflammatory compounds.
Chicory root is commonly used to make herbal teas due to its soothing effects on the digestive system. It makes an excellent substitute for coffee & assists in appetite loss, constipation, bloating & upset stomach. Chicory is also rich in fiber & makes a good prebiotic too. To conclude, it supplies B vitamins & manganese.
Tips for Growing the Most Healthy Winter Vegetables
The key to a bountiful winter harvest is to be aware of the ideal veggie to grow at the time & being able to pair the veggie with the appropriate season extender. This means that you grow cold-tolerant plants in specific structures, including greenhouses, cold frames, polytunnels & mini hoop tunnels.
- Begin winter planting with few crops in any of the structures mentioned above. You may have to add a fabric, flannel, or polyethylene film on top for additional protection in the coldest regions.
- Know the appropriate time to start planting. Most veggies that can be harvested in winter can be planted in summer till early autumn. Those that are not very tolerant of the cold can be harvested in December.
- If what you want is vegetables that grow for very long, try shallots, onions, or garlic that you can grow all-year-round.
- Beets, carrots & parsnips are all great to harvest in the cold as they grow under the ground & have additional protection. Fabric & mulch can also be placed on the soil to assist insulation. These three veggies grow best when you plant them in late summer.
- Make a garden bed for your greens using tunnels & cold frames. Greens include escarole, spinach, Swiss chard & Kale, and they can be planted in early autumn. They will produce young, tender leaves throughout the cold months. You can also try growing other greens during winter if you own a greenhouse.
- Winter squash grows best in areas that are not very cold despite the fact that it’s winter. This means that you plant the seeds deep in the ground, such as in Hillsboro rows, or buried in aged manure or very deep into the ground. They must have access to sufficient space & a lot of water to thrive & grow all-season long. You should plant them in late summer.
Concluding the Most Healthy Winter Vegetables
Growing some of the most healthy winter vegetables mentioned above does not require much. All they need is a unique structure to do the cultivation indoors. Note that it is best to grow these veggies yourself rather than buy from companies who are likely to have used unhealthy chemicals to foster growth.