The Color of the Season – Eating Well
As we rapidly approach the new year, many of us are thinking about resolutions of eating well and living healthier. Gym memberships are purchased, crash diets are often pondered, and extreme measures are undertaken for the first few weeks of January. However, eating well and living well for the long haul has to come from a sustainable and feasible approach.
Letting good quality, well prepared, seasonal foods guide your transition in the new year will help you eat better, get more nutrients your body needs this season, support local and seasonal producers and get your body in tune with the season, instead of fighting against it. In the heart of winter, eating the white starchy foods that are in season, when the season itself seems to be bringing you down all on its own, may not be on the top of your list. However, once again nature reigns in the creation of things that work symbiotically and, as it turns out, there are numerous reasons why we should not shy away from locally grown foods in all shades of white during this gray time of year.
Cold air, wet weather, less time outside, the flu season, stress, travel and the fewer hours of daylight that accompany the gray winter season require increased immunity, efficient energy production, attitude adjustments and motivation from all sources available. Luckily, foods like potatoes, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and celeriac contain an array of nutrients and health building properties you need to help you endure the winter.
Don’t fight the season. Fuel your body and make positive changes with seasonal whole foods. Compliment the weather, mood and environment around you with the best of the season’s bounty. Keep your body and mind healthy, optimistic and strong with these wintry whites:
Potatoes: A good source of vitamin C and B6 as well as potassium, manganese and fiber, potatoes are great for immune system and energy building this time of year. Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that produce great antioxidant activity. To get the most nutrients for your buck buy organic and eat the skins too.
Parsnips: Parsnips are rich in vitamins B1, B2 and C as well as minerals, potassium and fiber, making them a good antioxidant, immunity builder and energy source. Parsnips have been shown to have pain-relieving properties and to help lubricate the intestines and promote healthy digestion.
Jerusalem Artichokes: This tuber contains a large amount of inulin, which has been linked to intestinal health because of its pre-biotic and good bacteria promoting qualities. Jerusalem Artichokes help promote healthy and efficient digestion and have high amounts of vitamin C that provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In the winter months this tuber is especially helpful in nourishing the lungs and decreasing asthmatic symptoms.
Celeriac (or Celery Root): Low in calories and high in fiber and vitamin C, potassium, calcium and iron, this food defies its ugly appearance. Celeriac’s high water content helps flush the body of toxins while its nutrients help re-build and nourish. Health benefits include easing digestion, circulating antioxidants, building immunity and helping blood flow.
Beautiful Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes and celeriac/celery root are coming straight to you from Full Circle Farm this time of year. Take advantage of the healthy and still local foods you can get your hands on and use these winter weather foods to your nutritional advantage.