Eating seasonally has health benefits as foods that are in season, and especially when grown in the UK rather than imported; contain more nutrients, minerals and trace elements that our bodies need

 

Eating seasonally has health benefits as foods that are in season, and especially when grown in the UK rather than imported; contain more nutrients, minerals and trace elements that our bodies need. Plus food that’s in season tends to taste fresher and is packed with flavour rather than vegetables which have been transported and then sat in stores for days.

Here are some of my favourite seasonal ingredients right now and a tasty recipe which incorporates each food:

Watercress

Watercress has a wonderfully spicy taste and so many health benefits. It contains more iron than spinach and is packed with calcium and Vitamin C as well as the other antioxidant, Vitamin A. Try this easy to make recipe, leave off the ham if you’re vegetarian or top with a poached egg instead.

Watercress Soup with Ham

watercress soup with ham

 

Garlic

As we approach June and the summer months, garlic is in season, although I admit to using it all year round due to it’s ability to flavour meals and it’s great health benefits! Garlic contains a compound called Allicin, which is what gives garlic the pungent smell, and has been linked to lowered blood pressure, heart-healthy properites and a potnent antioxidant

Try this low carb garlic bread which goes very well with spaghetti Bolognese made with courgetti

Low Carb Garlic Bread

garlic bread

 

Aubergine

Aubergines are full of dietary fibre, for healthy digestion, and also packed with B vitamins as well as the minerals copper, magnesium and manganese. The skin contains nasunin which is a rich antioxidant and has been shown to protect the brain cell membranes.

This is a tasty alternative to pizza and so easy to make!

Cheesy Aubergine Slices

cheesy aubergine slices

Fennel

Fennel makes a great side dish and is often overlooked for more popular vegetables. Yet it’s crunchy, and slightly sweet, flavour make it a great change of pace especially with lighter dishes like pork, chicken or fish. Fennel contains many antioxidants, the most potent of which is anethole which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties as well as decreasing inflammation

This dish makes a tasty side dish:

Baked Fennel with Parmesan

baked fennel

 I'd love to hear your favourite seasonal recipes so do come and join the conversation and share your stories!

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Posted by Linda O'Byrne
Atkins Nutritionist