Eat These Healthy Local Foods This Winter
It’s a new year and that means resolutions, including healthier eating. We know it’s winter and that might make you think there are no healthy local options until the fresh spring produce is available, think again. You can add these local products that pack a health punch right now.
KALE is a hearty green and it’s pretty easy to find. You can juice it, use it in salads and even cook it in a stir fry. Does it pack a healthy punch? You bet. One cup of kale contains the daily recommended intake for vitamins A, C and K. It is also rich in B vitamins, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium and magnesium. Kale also contains flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory effects.
One of our favourite root vegetables is PARSNIP. It’s often overlooked in favour of carrots or turnip, but just one cup contains 6 grams of soluble fibre, which is excellent for digestive health. It also helps slow absorption of sugars, which is beneficial for diabetics. Not to mention a cup also gives you more than 30% of your daily vitamin C needs and they’re also great sources of vitamins B and E. We love to oven roast them with a bit of olive oil. You can also shave them into winter salads. But if you’re looking to replace potato chips and heavy dips, give this parsnip chips and white bean dip recipe a go.
Fish are delish! And here in Nova Scotia, we have plenty of options. ATLANTIC SALMON is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is linked to 17 different health benefits including heart health, preventing macular degeneration and contributing to a healthier brain including memory. And, thanks to a strong aquaculture industry, Atlantic Salmon is easy to find in almost any local grocery store or seafood market.
WILD BLUEBERRIES are Nova Scotia’s official berry. And whether you enjoy them fresh in August or frozen year-round, the health benefits of wild blueberries are well documented. Free radicals are these nasty bits that are linked to cancer and other illnesses. But, wild blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals. Of course, the little superfoods are also loaded in Vitamin C. Keep them on hand and add them to salads, oatmeal and pancakes, smoothies or just eat them on their own. You can also buy healthy wild blueberry juice and blueberry powder from local producer Van Dyk’s By Nature. We’re also going to throw a bonus berry at you. The HASKAP BERRY (Japanese for berry of long life) is also grown locally and also packs a healthy punch. Check out local producer, Haskapa, and their lineup of healthy Haskap berry products.
Our final product takes us back to the ocean, but it isn’t a fish. It’s DULSE. Some may cringe at the thought of dried seaweed, but the truth is it’s a great source of calcium, magnesium and iron, which all contribute to bone density. Dulse also has high levels of potassium which has coronary benefits, and iodine, which helps with thyroid function. It’s also a great source of fibre to improve with digestive health, and you might not think it, but dulse is also rich in Vitamin C, which we all know helps boost the immune system. Locals like Fundy Dulse and Mermaid Fare produce a variety of products, so you have lots of options here. It’s a new year, try something new.
We always run out of space before we run out of things to talk about in our blogs. These are just a few of our favourite winter health boosters. We encourage you to do your own research, make your own choices and Ask for Local.