With autumn and winter fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about diet. Colder weather allows viruses to thrive so it’s important to include as many disease-fighting superfoods into your meal plans as possible.
Here are the 5 best superfoods for autumn and winter to introduce into your diet now.
Packed with vitamins A, C and K, kale is a delicious and nutritious food choice. It’s full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And because it thrives in cool weather, it stays fresher for longer during the autumn and winter months. Not only does kale contribute to good bone health but it also helps to protect the heart, aids digestion and potentially prevents certain cancers.
Kale recipe ideas: Kale works excellent as the base for a winter salad and can be easily layered into burgers and sandwiches. Or throw it into your soups and stews for a hearty winter dish.
Packed with fibre and low in calories, sodium and fat, pumpkin is a great autumn superfood. It may reduce the risk of developing heart disease and certain cancers. Also loaded with protein, magnesium, zinc, iron and vitamins A and C, they’re great for our immune system, helping our bodies to heal, preserving our taste buds and even deterring some aspects of ageing.
Pumpkin recipe ideas: Stir a dollop of puréed pumpkin into your spaghetti or toss some pumpkin seeds into your salad after roasting.
Containing four times the recommended amount of vitamin C and loaded with potassium and fibre, cauliflower is a cheap and cheerful superfood that’s a great staple for a healthy winter diet. It’s also high in sulforaphane, a compound with anti-cancer properties and vitamin B6, which contributes to metabolising fats in your body.
Cauliflower recipe ideas: Make cauliflower the basis of your next winter casserole or break it up, fry and mix with cream for a tasty side dish.
Consisting of 90% water and packed with nitrates, these root veggies are great for improving blood flow and getting more oxygen to the muscles. For this reason, they’re an athlete’s best friend, helping to lower blood pressure and reduce the risks of heart attacks. They’re also great for regulating blood sugar levels and bowel movements.
Beetroot recipe ideas: Swap the tomato for beetroot for a delicious alternative pizza sauce base, or try your hand at this delicious beetroot gnocchi recipe.
As the saying goes, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’. And for a good reason too. Rich in fibre and antioxidants, apples help to lower the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes. They also improve gut and brain health and help to lower cholesterol with their bowel-regulating pectin and phytonutrients.
Apple recipe ideas: Apples make a great basis for desserts like apple tarts, apple muffins and apple crumble, or cook some Bramley apples with cinnamon to make a tasty chutney.
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