It is that time of the year again when corridors are decked with holly and one is out and about, painting the town red in their best outfits. But with so many parties to attend, calorie counting becomes a tedious task. After all, the plum cakes and endless glasses of wine come at a price. A price tag that one repays in the form of additional inches on the waist. So, if you want your guests to go home with full tummies and yet have a healthy start to the New Year, how about painting your menu with festive colours?
Some of the healthiest winter fruits and vegetables have been painted by nature itself in festive colours. One can make lovely salads, tasty hors d’oeuvres, desserts and delicious main courses without piling on calories. Here are a list of festive coloured ingredients that are great for your health too:
1. Carrots: The health benefits of carrots are due to their richness in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B8 and pantothenic acid. Consumption of carrots helps reduce cholesterol, prevents heart attacks, improves vision, and reduces the signs of premature aging.
2. Apples: Apple are loaded with nutritional elements like vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and riboflavin which help in improved digestion, prevention of stomach disorders, gallstones, constipation, liver disorders, anemia, diabetes, heart disease, rheumatism, eye disorders, a variety of cancers, and gout.
3. Beetroot: Beets are a powerhouse of nutrition. High in vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds like vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, they help in the treatment of anemia, indigestion, constipation, piles, kidney disorders, dandruff, gall bladder disorders, cancer, and heart disease.
1. Fenugreek Leaves: The health benefits of fenugreek are due to its richness in iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper, as well as vitamin B6, protein, and dietary fiber. These include relief from anemia, loss of taste, fever, dandruff, stomach disorders, biliousness, respiratory disorders, mouth ulcers, sore throat, diabetes, inflammations, wounds and insomnia.
2. Guava: A winter fruit that everyone loves, guavas are useful in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, cough, cold, skin care, high blood pressure, weight loss and scurvy. It is important to know that guava also helps control diabetes and protects the prostate.
3. Amla: The health benefits of Amla can be partially attributed to its high vitamin-C content. It enhances food absorption, balances stomach acid, fortifies the liver, nourishes the brain and mental functioning, supports the heart, strengthens the lungs, enhances fertility, helps the urinary system, increases skin health, promotes healthier hair, acts as a body coolant, flushes out toxins, and acts as an antioxidant.
1. Pumpkin Seeds:Pumpkin seeds contain impressive levels of manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, zinc, iron, and protein, as well as smaller amounts of B complex vitamins, and vitamin A.. They are useful for their ability to help strengthen your metabolism, heal your body efficiently, boost your heart health, lift your mood, help you sleep, protect your bones, prevent cancer, eliminate kidney stones, alleviate inflammation, boost your immune system, defend against parasites and detoxify the body.
2. Pineapples: A great addition to desserts, pineapple contains potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta carotene, thiamin, B6, and folate, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber, and bromelain. It has the ability to improve respiratory health, cure coughs and colds, improve digestion, help you lose weight, strengthen bones, improve oral health, boost eye health, reduce inflammation, prevent cancer, increase heart health, fight off infections and parasites, improve the immune system, and increase circulation.
3. Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes: Sungold cherry tomatoes are exceptionally sweet, golden-orange tomatoes around one inch in size. They are rich in vitamin C, and they also offer a good dose of potassium, which is important for regulating blood pressure, nerve function, and muscle control.
So this festive season, why not design a menu around these coloured fruits and vegetables, which are great for your health too?