Eating seasonally is a fantastic way to indulge in foods that are truly at their optimum and taste exactly how they were meant to. You might not think December has a lot to offer but we’ve highlighted some of our favourite seasonal foods for winter and their many healthy benefits!
You can’t beat the smell of peeling a fresh clementine! Christmas vibes all over! This vibrant fruit is not only delicious and in season for December, it is also full of health benefits. Clementines help strengthen your immune system and help fight off viruses and infections thanks to it’s abundance of vitamin C and phytonutrients. Speaking of vitamin C… this vitamin is also a powerhouse for your skin. We all need help with adding a bit of glow to our skin this time of year so by snacking on a couple of clementines a day, you’ll be keeping wrinkles and UV radiation damage at bay as well as keeping your complexion youthful and healthy! To top it all off, your digestive system will thank you for eating these festive nuggets as they contain lots of fibre and potassium, which helps regulate muscle contractions for better movement of food through the gut.
A bit of a love/hate food, us brits have been consuming the humble Brussels Sprout ever since thy got imported from (you guessed it) Belgium over 400 years ago! Along with being a staple side dish at Christmas day dinner, these cruciferous balls are rich in vitamin K, which helps to prevent blood clotting and protects bone health. In addition to this, some studies have shown that Brussles Sprouts could balance blood sugar levels. Good for balancing out all those mince pies! Many studies have shown that a high intake of cruciferous vegetables like Brussles Sprouts, is linked to a decreased risk of developing diabetes. This is mostly likely due to Brussels Sprouts containing a lot of fibre (which I’m sure we all know about!) So help yourself to a good helping of these guys this Christmas and you’ll be doing your body a world of good!
This root veggie is packed full to the brim of nutrients but is quite often overlooked with carrot and potato being a more popular choice among many. High in vitamin C, K and various B vitamins, celeriac is a great source calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It’s also an amazing choice for keeping your immune system top notch with its anti-macrobial properties, which provide a strong defence in the digestive tract. Another bonus is that celeriac is thought to be good for cleansing the kidneys and keeping them functioning optimally. We love this Creamy Leek & Celeriac Pie from lifestyle blogger, Niomi Smart’s cook book, Eat Smart. We featured the recipe in our Recipe Corner here!
If you’re anything like us, you’ll miss chowing down on sweet strawberries and raspberries during the winter months. No matter where you buy them from in the UK, they just taste bitter! But fear not berry lovers, get your fix from cranberries instead! Packed full of amazing antioxidants these powerful red jewels are serious health-boosters. Of course, we are talking about them in their fresh form not dried, they are perfect in breakfast smoothies and on top of porridge. High in Vitamin E you’ll be combatting chronic diseases associated with free radicals such as heart disease, arthritis and even Alzheimer’s.
Another winter specialty is chestnuts and there are many reasons to include them in your diet this season. They are full of healthy fats, fibre, minerals and antioxidant compounds that benefit our bodies. As mentioned above with Brussels Sprouts, fibre is essential for our health and chestnuts are abundant in it. If there were ever a season to stabalise blood sugar, we think it would be Christmas! Chestnuts also contain high amounts of vitamin B, which is great for brain function so you’ll be guessing those Christmas cracker jokes in record time!
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