Winter Superfoods

January 23, 2015

First of all, what does a “superfood” mean? The definition from the Oxford Dictionary states a superfood is a “nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.” In essence it is a food that offers a lot of nutrition and health benefits. I don’t usually like using this term to describe foods but let’s just take a look at some beneficial foods that are in season.

1. Cranberry
Harvested in the fall cranberries can be found in abundance in the cold winter months. I say cold being low 50’s here in Santa Barbara. The cranberry many be small, but their health benefits are great. One cup fresh or ½ cup of dried cranberries provides one fruit serving and a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. A unique photochemical called proanthocyanidins is also found in these small berries.  One thing to be aware of is that because cranberries are very tart, sugar is usually added to make them sweeter. Be careful of this!

2. Brussels Sprouts
Either you like them or you don’t. I love them and you will always find me on Team Brussels Sprout. I think it really depends on how they are prepared. I mean truly is any steamed vegetable very good? I don’t think so. You have to spice things up and that is exactly what you need to do with the brussels sprout. Brussels sprouts are in fact an excellent source of vitamin C, and a good source of folate. A ½ cup provides just 30 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.

3. Beets
This colorful vegetable comes in many colors red, yellow or white. Beets are again one of those foods you either love or hate. I again am on team love. I love beets; I truly think they are awesome. I love their colors and the different ways you can prepare them. 1 cup is only 58 calories and is an excellent source of folate. Beets are also a good source of potassium, vitamin C and fiber. Clearly beets are low in calories and offer many great benefits.

4. Kiwi
These fuzzy little fruits can actually be eaten whole (skin included). I don’t really like the fuzzy skin (although full of fiber) so I scoop out the sweet inside. 2 medium kiwis’ provide 90 calories and a high in vitamin C and are a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin E. They are so easy to eat- take them to work or class as a snack, add them to smoothies, parfaits, or even salsa.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our winter super stars. What winter fruit or vegetables do you enjoy?


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