If it’s in season, all the more reason to eat it right? Aside from convenience, seasonal fruit and vegetables are fresher, more nutritious and energetically, better for your constitution. What do we mean by the latter? When a food is aligned with the season, it’s more likely to match up with your body and what it requires from an energetic perspective. We’re in December and the weather is likely colder no matter where you are (unless of course, you’re somewhere tropical, in which case, we envy you!) Seasonal produce in December is both energetically and literally heartier and warmer than what you’d find sprouting up in summer, giving your body what it needs in cold weather.
Let’s start with…
Beetroot is a nutritious root vegetable that is somewhat ‘meaty’ and filling, similar to a potato, but providing more in the way of vitamins and minerals. You can tell this just by looking at its vibrant purple color, although it does grow in other colors, like yellow, white and pink, too.
It’s filled with an array of nutrients, especially fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C. It’ll provide you with sustenance and energy, balance your electrolyte levels and give your skin and immune system a boost.
Delicious raw and diced into a salad, or roasted alongside other tasty root vegetables like parsnips and potatoes, the beetroot is a versatile winter vegetable to include in your December palette. Its sweet taste also makes it a perfect pair with goat's cheese. Careful though, they do stain!
- Brussels sprouts:
Christmas isn’t the same without Brussels sprouts somewhere on the menu! And they don’t have to be mushy and bland either. Tossed with chestnuts and bacon in grass-fed ghee, organic butter or extra virgin olive oil, Brussels sprouts can be the star of the show. Thanks to their many layers, they hold flavor very well and get nicely crispy without much effort. They also taste great roasted.
Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable, so one of the best greens there is! Cruciferous vegetables are notoriously high in most of the essential vitamins and minerals. These sprouts are particularly loaded with vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and maintaining healthy bones. In addition, they’re rich in vitamin C (immunity, skin health and iron absorption), sulforaphane (a cell protective, heart-healthy plant compound) and fiber, which is filling, for one, and good for your digestion.
The cherry on top of the cake is that Brussels sprouts are packed with the body’s master antioxidant, glutathione. Glutathione is present in nearly all of the cells of your body, but is particularly concentrated in the liver as it plays a vital role in your natural detoxification process. So Brussels sprouts might help offset a bad hangover too.
If you’ve written off Brussels sprouts for life after a mushy encounter, we’d recommend giving them another chance! Just don’t boil or steam them…
Ever bite into an apple expecting a crunchy, sweet experience to be met with a mushy, bland taste? That apple probably wasn’t in season. In December, it’s a totally different story.
We’d recommend eating them a little differently than usual though. Chopping them up and cooking them into your morning porridge or making a homemade applesauce is the way to go for winter. Plus, heating apples up releases a key prebiotic called pectin that feeds the good bacteria in your gut - happy days! - and promotes healthy cholesterol levels (something we all probably need a little helping hand with over Christmas!)
Another underrated hearty cruciferous vegetable in the mix. And a very versatile one at that.
Cauliflower is used as a carbohydrate alternative - ever heard of cauliflower rice or pizza crust? It’s time to get to know them. Cauliflower is also tasty roasted or as part of a wintery stir fry. It can also be grated or used as the base of a vegetable soup.
Versatility isn’t its only party trick. Cauliflower is fiber rich and contains an array of antioxidants like its brother the Brussels sprout. It’s high in sulforaphane, which is cell protective, fighting oxidative stress and cell damage and has shown potential to help reduce H Pylori bacteria. It also contains our favorite liver-supporting antioxidant, glutathione and immune-boosting vitamin C.
The Pear tree didn’t make it into the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ for nothing! Pears are ripe and ready this season, bursting with nutrients and providing a sweet, warming addition to any savory dish and dessert.
Nutritionally, they provide ample doses of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and copper. Copper is key to a healthy immune system, cholesterol balance and nerve function, while potassium is an important electrolyte that supports muscle and nerve health. Pears are also potent with antioxidant polyphenols, and the content is 6 times higher when you eat them with the skin!
- Wild mushrooms:
As well as being an uplifting addition to many meals, wild mushrooms (especially shiitake) are one of the few plant-based foods that contain vitamin D. An essential vitamin most of us are lacking in wintertime.
They also contain active polysaccharides, the most notable one being the soluble fiber beta glucan. Beta glucans activate your immune cells (such as natural killer and T cells), getting your immune system ready to fight off the inflow of colds and flus this season. Additionally, they support heart and gut health.
Toss with organic butter and fresh herbs for a delightful side dish or make them the main affair in a creamy pasta sauce.
We encourage you to involve these seasonal specialities in your diet over the rest of December. You won’t regret it!
Happy holidays everyone!