Winter is Here! Top Picks for your Winter Diet
Are you wondering which winter foods to add to your diet that you can turn into hearty, nourishing meals to warm you through the chilly season? We’ve got you covered. Here are Greenheart Organics winter favourites that will boost your immunity and keep you in peak health.
Pumpkin is a variant of winter squash. It contains high levels of Vitamin A, C and E and folate which strengthens your immune system and helps you fight infections. Pumpkin delivers high levels of potassium and fibre, making it beneficial for your heart health too. Studies indicate that people with a higher intake of potassium have lower blood pressure and reduced risk of strokes. Enjoy it sweet or savoury. Not only does its sweet flavour make pumpkin a favourite in pies and pancakes, it also rocks in soup, pastas and roasted veg side dishes.
Spinach has an excellent nutrient profile. As one of the richest sources of carotenoids, spinach boosts immunity, maintains brain function and the nervous system. Known as one of the super foods, spinach is high in antioxidants which help to prevent cancer. And if you’re looking to preserve your youthful good looks, great news, this folate enriched leafy green prevents premature ageing.
Enjoy it in soup, stir-fried, blended into a power packing smoothie or to add texture to a green salad.
Try our wild favourites such as earthy Marog or juicy Pumpkin spinach!
The versatile cabbage comes in a variety of shapes and colours – red, purple, white and green. It’s a popular choice in weight loss plans as it’s very low in calories. Loaded with Vitamin C and K1, this cruciferous veg packs a punch. It protects against loss of vision and facilitates blood clotting which prevents excessive bleeding. Cabbage contains over 36 kinds of anthocyanin (a powerful compound that gives veg a vibrant purple colour) which is good for heart health. But it doesn’t stop there! Cabbage is also rich in Vitamin B6 and folate which is essential for metabolism and functioning of the nervous system.
Enjoy it raw in salads or slaws or mix it up in hearty soups stews or curries to warm you through winter.
4. Turmeric Root Tuber
This exotic spice boasts a vivid orange hue and is renowned for its potent healing properties. It contains curcumin, a powerful compound which helps to treat inflammation and infections and heal wounds. It’s believed to be beneficial in destroying cancerous cells and reducing angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels) in tumours.
Enjoy it in your favourite curry or add grated turmeric root into stews, soups, salads or stir-fry. Golden milk is a super healthy concoction made from simmering grated turmeric with ginger, a few black peppercorns, a cinnamon stick and a couple of cardamom pods in 300ml of milk. Strain and serve with a hint of honey and voila – you have yourself an immunity boosting super drink!
5. Edamame Beans
This little green soy bean is a protein and fibre rich powerhouse. It provides all the essential amino acids making it the perfect substitute for meat in the vegan or vegetarian diet. With 70% less fat and 40% more protein than peanuts, Edamame is a natural, great tasting, heart healthy snack. It’s low in carbs so also helpful for those with Type 2 diabetes.
Enjoy it as a tasty low calorie snack or yummy dip flavoured with garlic. You can also toss it in a salad or trail mix.
6. Bone broth
Bone broth is a nutrient dense stock made by slow cooking the bones and connective tissue of animals. Doesn’t sound appealing, I know, but the it has a mild inobtrusive flavour and the health payoff is worth it. Animal bones are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium which are all required to strengthen your bone health. The gelatine in bone broth promotes healthy digestion which is beneficial for people with leaking gut or inflammatory bowel diseases. Compounds found in the cartilage help to reduce joint pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Enjoy it as stock for soups, stews or gravy or to flavour mashed or roast potatoes or other veg.
Buckwheat aka groats is a grain like seed rich in protein and dietary fibre. This nutritious little seed assists with diabetes management as it is very low on the glycaemic index. It is also gluten free making it a great choice for people with grain sensitivities. Of particular relevance to the COVID 19 pandemic, Buckwheat is considered to be “at the top of the Quercetin supply chain.” In a paper titled COVID – 19 Functional Medicine Resources (April 2020) by the Institute of Functional Medicine, Quercetin was placed at the top of a list of micronutrients touted for boosting immunity and inhibiting the overproduction of inflammation producing cytokines. Quercetin is reported to have other mechanisms that may help eradicate or inactivate viruses. So best you add buckwheat to your arsenal in the fight against COVID 19.
Enjoy it as healthy breakfast porridge, specially brewed tea or as a starch replacement in gluten free breads and crackers, pastry or pancake dishes.
8. Sourdough Ciabatta
Made with stoneground flour, this long fermented bread lowers overall carbohydrates and simple sugar intake making it easily digestible. It’s an excellent choice for people with diabetes or gluten intolerance.
Enjoy it as an appetiser with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Also perfect for juicy sandwiches, bruschetta or dunking in soup.
9. Organic Soups
A warm bowl of soup is both comforting and good for the soul. Organic soup which is loaded with nutrient dense vegetables free from harmful chemicals and pesticides can only be better.
Enjoy it as a quick and wholesome lunch or dinner, on its own, or with a carb of your choice.
Our homegrown & homemade Pumpkin, butternut & leek and Vegetable & Lentil soups are a winner.
10. Lentil Loaf
Lentils are high in fibre and protein. They have a low glycaemic index and are a great source of antioxidants which are beneficial for those with diabetes.
Enjoy it with mashed cauliflower and balsamic onion gravy; however it’s also satisfying as a meal on its own.
Greenheart Organics offers a wide range of organic foods; including all your winter favourites, as well as self-care and homecare products that help you live your best life. Browse our products online at www.greenheartorganics.co.za
About the Author
Carmel Murugen is a freelance health and lifestyle content writer with over 25 years’ experience in social work. When she’s not immersed in the latest health and wellness trends, she enjoys chilling with coffee and a good book.
To learn more about her writing services visit www.csmcreativesolutions.co.za