Nutrition for students can be a fun learning experience!
November/December Topic: Winter Greens
Winter greens are a group of vegetables that grow well in cold weather and can survive frost or snow. They include kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, turnip greens, mustard greens, and more. These vegetables are not only delicious, but also very nutritious. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, which can benefit your health in many ways.
Some of the benefits of eating winter greens are:
- They can boost your immune system and help you fight off colds and flu. Winter greens are high in vitamin C, which is essential for your body’s defense against infections. One cup of cooked kale, for example, provides more than 100% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
- They can support your bone and heart health. Winter greens are excellent sources of vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone formation. Vitamin K also helps prevent calcium from building up in your arteries, which can lower your risk of heart disease. One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts, for instance, contains more than 100% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K.
- They can regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. Winter greens are high in fiber and alpha-lipoic acid, both of which can help keep your blood sugar stable. Fiber slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, which prevents spikes and crashes in your blood glucose. Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation.
Winter greens are versatile and easy to prepare. You can enjoy them raw in salads, smoothies, or juices, or cook them in soups, stews, stir-fries, or casseroles. You can also season them with garlic, onion, lemon, vinegar, or herbs to enhance their flavor. Try to eat at least one serving of winter greens every day to reap their health benefits and add some color to your winter meals.