Healthy eating at the holidays can be a challenge. However, there are many favorite Christmas veggies that are delicious and can help balance indulgent eating behaviors.
Christmas is a time for joy and celebration – as it should be. It’s also a time to indulge in all the yummy food that goes with the Christmas season. When it comes to the common veggies you may find on your Christmas table, here are some facts that may surprise you:
- Sprouts are super healthy containing high levels of vitamins A and C, folic acid plus dietary fiber.
- Many people can’t stand Brussels sprouts because of a gene variant that affects how they perceive bitterness. People with the variant are more sensitive to the pungency of the plants, causing an unpalatable response.
- First cultivated in Asia, carrots were originally white and purple. But changes in the genes controlling pigment production were exploited by farmers and plant breeders to give us the orange carrots we know today, along with less familiar colors such as yellow, red, and black.
- The orange color of carrots is due to a compound called beta-carotene. Beta- carotene is needed to produce vitamin A, which is converted to the retinal pigment used by your eyes to detect light. One of the symptoms of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness. So, you could say carrots really do help you see in the dark.
Parsnips get sweeter in the cold
- Parsnips were used to sweeten cakes and jams long before the arrival of cane sugar in Europe.
- Frost converts starch to sugar so parsnips will always taste sweeter if you wait to harvest them until after a hard frost. They used to be used as a sweetening agent because they develop a more pronounced sweet taste after being stored in the cold.
- Parsnips are also an excellent source of many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium as well as dietary fiber.
There’s a vegetable that tastes like both carrots and parsnips.
- If you like carrots as well as parsnips, you might want to try root parsley, which combines characteristics of all three crops. Carrots, parsnips, and parsley are members of the same family of plants, which also contain herbs such as celery and fennel.
Boiling destroys anti-cancer properties of vegetables.
- Boiling severely damages the anti-cancer properties of many cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and green cabbage. If you want to get the maximum benefit from your Christmas vegetables, then boiling is out. You need to consider stir frying, steaming, or microwaving them.
The holidays are such a joyous time! Enjoy your veggies and if you want more information about healthy eating or losing weight the Physicians Premiere Weight & Wellness Center way with Dr. Trupti Patel, please visit our website at www.healthymeweightloss.com