Winter foods can be just as satisfying as their summer counterparts

Winter foods can be just as satisfying as their summer counterparts

By Jason Howland, Mayo Clinic News Network

Troy Warren for CNT #Health

If a cold salad no longer suits your fancy, try soups instead for your healthy foods

Summer vegetables gardens have been long put to bed, and winter fruits and vegetables are now on the menu. Traditional winter vegetables can be as satisfying and healthy as their summer counterparts, according to Elizabeth J. Bailey, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

A crisp cool salad might be what the doctor ordered, but there are also other healthy options.

“As the weather gets colder, something that I like to incorporate more are soups,” Bailey said.

Soups like kale with white beans or butternut squash can be fulfilling and healthy. “Kale is rich in vitamin A,” she said. “You’ve got your antioxidants from that.”

Antioxidants are important because they can protect our cells against the effects of free radicals, which might play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Another benefit?

“Vitamin A is beneficial for immune function, and it’s especially important when it comes to vision,” Bailey said.

And white beans are legumes, which contain dietary fiber.

“For heart health, for brain health, fiber is the key takeaway. Fiber is extremely important and falls into improvements in other areas of our health, as well,” she said.

Bailey advised we aim for at least 25 grams of fiber per day.

“If somebody is currently consuming on average only 5 grams of fiber today, we would recommend increasing that fiber intake gradually and slowly to ensure tolerance.”

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By Troy Warren

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