5 Produce Picks for the Cooler Months
5 Fall Produce Picks
We typically think of farmers markets in the summer. We’re obsessing over watermelon, ice-cold lemonade and early morning runs to beat the heat. As the days get shorter and weather turns cooler, many of us forget that there are plenty of produce options growing in the cooler months also.
We want to include varied sources of produce in our diets to help provide all of the vitamins, minerals and electrolytes necessary for our bodies. Food can be medicine for our working muscles. It plays a role in muscle building and recovery, decreasing inflammation and helping improve immunity. Most noteworthy, winter produce items are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, as well as in vitamins A and C.
To get the most nutrition bang for your buck, focus on antioxidant-heavy produce options to help fight the winter blues.
Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. They are a sweeter alternative to the regular brown potato for example, and their bright color gives them an extra antioxidant boost. Sweet potatoes offer adequate potassium, magnesium and manganese, electrolytes that are often lost through sweat and exercise. These electrolytes help with muscle contraction, maintaining a normal blood pressure and blood sugar. They also regulate fluid and mineral balance in cells, all of which are important for long endurance exercise.
Pomegranates are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and fiber. They also boast several antioxidant and bioactive plant compounds that are great for our health. Some research has shown that pomegranates may help reduce inflammation in different areas, including the gastrointestinal tract, and may also help with joint pain.
Add some tart and tangy citrus to your winter dishes to brighten them up. In additiona, you’ll get extra vitamin C to your diet to boost immunity. Branch out and try the deep-hued blood orange or cara cara orange for example, which tastes like a mix between an orange and a grapefruit. Citrus fruits are about 88 percent water, making them a great way to boost hydration also.
There are an array of beautiful choices that fall under the winter squash category, including butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and acorn squash for instance. Squash are known for their yellow and orange flesh and sweet, starchy consistency. They are packed with complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B6 too. Additionally, winter squash also provide modest amounts of a handful of micronutrients. These include copper, manganese, potassium, folate and magnesium, to keep your body functioning optimally.
Beets, or beetroots, are known for their earthiness. The stunning fuchsia-hued root vegetable is a great source of vitamins, minerals and plant compounds. They are also a valuable source of folate to help with energy production, as well as potassium and magnesium. If you want to skip the mess of peeling beetroots, consider buying them canned or in juice form. Beets and beet juice are powerful sources of inorganic nitrates, which may help lower blood pressure, fight inflammation and enhance oxygen flow and use—sometimes by as much as 20 percent.
Article by: Sarah Schlichter
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