Sea­son’s Eat­ings

What you should be eat­ing now

Runner's World (UK) - - Contents -

BROC­COLI

A mere 175 grams of this veg sup­plies 276 per cent of your daily vi­ta­min K needs. This may help reg­u­late your body's vi­ta­min D lev­els – es­pe­cially key dur­ing win­ter, when many Bri­tish peo­ple be­come vi­ta­min D de­fi­cient (thanks, win­ter sun­shine). EAT IT Add to a chicken or beef stir-fry. Serve with multi­grain rice.

BRUS­SELS SPROUTS

Not just for Christ­mas – these nu­tri­tional big hit­ters from the cab­bage fam­ily sup­ply blood-choles­terol-low­er­ing fi­bre. A 100g serv­ing also pro­vides most of your daily vi­ta­min C need and al­most as much vi­ta­min K as broc­coli does. EAT IT Lightly steam­ing means the fi­bre can to go to work reg­u­lat­ing choles­terol lev­els.

CAB­BAGE

Savoy cab­bage is high in sin­i­grin, a phy­tonu­tri­ent that may help pre­vent cancer, while red cab­bage has an­tho­cyanins, po­ten­tially help­ing to lower the risk of chronic ail­ments such as di­a­betes. All types of cab­bage con­tain polyphe­nols that pro­vide anti-in­flam­ma­tory ben­e­fits. EAT IT Shred cab­bage to give stir-fries a kick up the nu­tri­ents.

CAU­LI­FLOWER

A mem­ber of the cru­cif­er­ous-veg­etable fam­ily, cau­li­flower con­tains phy­tonu­tri­ents called in­doles that, stud­ies show, may lower cancer risk. A 100g cooked serv­ing packs more than 90 per cent of your daily vi­ta­min C need. EAT IT Steam, then mash, for a health­ier mashed spud sub­sti­tute.

SPRING GREENS

Known as col­lard greens in the US, spring greens (avail­able year­round, de­spite the name) are a type of cab­bage, though they lack the hard heart. They are high in fi­bre, cal­cium (with more than a quar­ter of your RDA in 190g cooked), mag­ne­sium and potas­sium. The lat­ter two are min­er­als cru­cial for healthy blood pres­sure. Stud­ies also show that ni­trates found in spring greens may im­prove blood­flow to ex­er­cis­ing mus­cles. EAT IT Spring greens make for a tasty tor­tilla or wrap sub­sti­tute, or fry with pine nuts and raisins.

KALE

This is loaded with a com­pound called xeathanthin, which may help pre­vent age-re­lated loss of vi­sion. A 70g serv­ing sup­plies al­most seven times your RDA for vi­ta­min K and more than 25 per cent for man­ganese, which may help pro­tect your body's cells against pre­ma­ture age­ing. EAT IT Best cooked by steam­ing, which ac­ti­vates its choles­terol­low­er­ing fi­bre in your gut.

ONIONS

Red and yel­low onions are loaded with a flavonoid called quercetin, which, some re­search shows, may com­bat in­flam­ma­tion re­sult­ing from heavy work­outs. EAT IT Fry or roast onions to bring out the sweet flavour while re­tain­ing the quercetin con­tent.

SWEET POTA­TOES

Rich in carbs, they have a low gly­caemic in­dex when boiled (not baked), help­ing keep blood-sugar lev­els steady. A medium sweet potato also con­tains about as much potas­sium as a ba­nana. EAT IT Bake and driz­zle with honey and cin­na­mon for a pre­run snack.

WIN­TER SQUASH

Squashes con­tain a wealth of potas­sium and beta-carotene. Win­ter squashes also sup­ply fi­bre, vi­ta­min C and B vi­ta­mins. EAT IT Spi­ralise but­ter­nut squash (a va­ri­ety of win­ter squash) for a vi­ta­min-packed and lower-calo­rie al­ter­na­tive to spaghetti. (Sal­ter Spi­ral­izer, £14.99, ar­gos.co.uk).

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