Have you already resigned yourself to the usual winter annoyances?
- coughs and sniffles
- sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, before asking for a prescription to soothe your scratchy throat, or stop your runny nose, or calm that itchy, dry skin
- unwanted trips to the pharmacy
Why not do your best to avoid these bothers by making great food choices this winter? Rather than swallowing pills and liquid medications to treat viruses and infections, use nature’s own pharmacy to strengthen your immune system and help your skin to keep a healthy glow. If you’re a gardener during the warmer months, then surely now that it’s too cold to be in your garden, you can allot some time to experiment in your kitchen. Researching and preparing healthful menus now can also give you some useful ideas about what you wish to sow and grow next year.
Put into immediate effect a winter resolution to make wise nutrition decisions, helping you to stay well, while you wait for next year’s growing season to come around. Though we are unable to pick fresh produce from our gardens over the winter, we do have access to some wonderful local markets loaded with amazing fruit and vegetable delights. Now is the time we can make plans about which edibles we want to try in our planting plots in 2012, by experimenting with flavor combinations during the colder months.
How about choosing watercress instead of iceberg lettuce in salads? According to Medical News Today, Ulster University research indicates that substances found in watercress show substsantial beneficial in the prevention of several types of cancer. Its peppery tang is great when added to a colorful salad. Other good accompaniments to a watercress based salad could be toasted zinc-loaded pumpkin seeds and calcium, iron and_fiber_rich sunflower seeds. Juice up your salad with chunks of freshly cut orange. Blood oranges, whose flesh is purplish red instead of orange in hue, contains more vitamin C than regular oranges. Sometimes less sweet than their orange-fleshed cousins, blood oranges’ purple pigment is a skin friendly antioxidant.
Add to your salad chopped cucumbers with the skin still on and you will do your own skin a favor. The silica in cucumbers is an essential part of connective tissue health and beneficial to collagen production.
When making your recipe for eggplant parmesan, feel good that the skin contains nasunin, which has been shown to protect the essential fat membrane of the brain. Pureed eggplant, including the skin, makes a good meat substitute in dishes such as stuffed peppers.
Purple skinned Asian sweet potatoes are some of the most nutrition packed vegetables that can be served simply baked and eaten in their “jackets”, or mashed in a sweet potatoe pie, and flavored with orange juice and zest. Sweeten the pie with a natural sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup. Sprinkle with cinnamon and treasure the delightful flavors of a more health-friendly winter treat.
Make a healthy start to the new year by spending the winter eating your way to well being. When spring planting time arrives, you’ll be ready to grow your own glow.