9 seasonal superfoods to eat this winter

Boost your health and performance with some of winter’s finest fare.



by Liz Applegate, Ph.D.

1/ 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.


2/ 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.


3/ 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.


4/ 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.


5/ Spring greens

Known as collard greens in the US, spring greens (available year-round, 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 blood-flow to exercising muscles.

Eat it: Spring greens make for a tasty tortilla or wrap substitute, or fry with pine nuts and raisins.


6/ 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 cholesterol- lowering fibre in your gut.


7/ 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.


8/ 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 pre-run snack.


9/ 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.


Photography from Getty Images


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