By Emily Grenfell
You know that foods high in vitamins and minerals are good for you, but which food are what do they do?
Nature has a way of preparing your body for the months ahead by providing the nutritional boosts you need in the seasonal foods you eat.
Along with onions, parsley, blueberries, bananas, dark chocolate and red wine, Apples contain a high concentration of flavenoids.
Flavenoids are a molecule found in certain food groups, known for their anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic properties. At this time of year eat them for their anti-viral properties and give your body the best chance of fighting off infections.
Sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin K, needed for blood clotting, which is essential for your internal and external healing. The average adult needs slightly less than 1mg of Vitamin K every day, and your liver will store excess for later use, so it’s easy to get all the vitamin K you need from a varied diet. Sprouts are also high in Iron, a vital component for producing red blood cells, so eat Sprouts and give your blood levels a boost.
Parsnips, as well as bananas, contain potassium, an electrolyte that helps carry electrical messages around the body. Potassium can help lower blood pressure by causing the kidneys to excrete less sodium, help maintain bone health, and reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. Potassium rich foods also prevent leg cramps and other muscle spasms because of the role potassium plays with nerve impulses and muscle contraction throughout the body.
Squash is high in omega 3, a fatty acid that your body needs. Omega 3 is linked to brain and visual development in infants, and research has found that cultures who eat foods high in Omega 3 have lower levels of depression. Omega 3 can also be found in Salmon, Sardines, and Tuna, and fish oils have been found to boost the effects of antidepressants. They can also help the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder. To cut a long story short, Omega 3 is good for your brain. If you find the long dark winter days depressing, make sure you get plenty of Omega 3.
Pumpkin is high in many vitamins, including B1 (Thiamin), B3 (Niacin), and B6 (Pyridoxine). Thiamin helps to break down and release the energy you get from your food. It also helps to keep your nervous system healthy. Niacin also contributes to good skin.
If you don’t get enough vitamin B you can get anaemia and skin disorders. Low levels of vitamin B have also been linked to depression, confusion, and a greater susceptibility to infections. Eat plenty of pumpkin to beat infections and help lift your moods during the winter months.
Sweet potatoes are delicious and high in vitamin A. Vitamin A helps your immune system fight infections, and it helps your vision in dim light. It also contributes to keeping your skin healthy, especially the lining of the nose. It’s the season for cold and flu, so give your nose a fighting chance and eat plenty of Sweet Potatoes. As the nights draw in, you’ll be using your eyes in the dark a lot more, so helping your eyesight with a boost of vitamin A will also help.