Tag Archives: sinigrin

Eat your greens all year round

WE all know that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is the key to good health. The British Heart Foundation estimates 15,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke could be prevented each year if we all hit our five-a-day target and the World Cancer Research Fund says another 7,000 people could be spared cancer diagnosis.

Produce which is stored for long periods loses some of its nutritional value. So to ensure you have a variety of quality fruit and vegetables eat with the seasons. Here’s our guide.

JANUARY

At their best: Bramley apples, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leeks, lemons, parsnips, pears, salsify, swede, sweet potatoes, turnips.

Health benefits: Sprouts contain sinigrin which protects against tumours. Researchers found they halved the risk of bladder cancer. Cauliflower cuts the risk of prostate cancer by 50 per cent, claims the US National Cancer Institute.

FEBRUARY

At their best: Bramley apples, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leeks, lemons, parsnips, purple sprouting broccoli, swede, sweet potatoes, turnips.

Health benefits: Apples lower cholesterol, reduce hardening of arteries and protect against heart disease, according to a report in the Journal of Medicinal Food. Jerusalem artichokes and chicory boost friendly bacteria in the gut. Turnips and kale contain indole-3-carbinol, which protects against blood cancers leukaemia and lymphoma.

green-vegetables-lancastria

Green vegetables

MARCH

At their best: Cabbage, cauliflower, celeriac, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, lemons, parsnips, purple sprouting broccoli, spring greens, sweet potatoes, turnips.

Health benefits: Cabbage and spring greens contain diindolylmethane, which has anti-cancer properties. US scientists are running trials to see if it can prevent breast cancer. Members of the onion family are rich in allicin which lowers blood pressure and reduces fatty deposits in arteries which can contribute to cardiovascular disease.

APRIL

At their best: Cauliflower, celeriac, chicory, cucumber, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, lemons, purple sprouting broccoli, sorrel, spinach, spring greens, watercress.

Health benefits: Purple sprouting broccoli has high levels of sulforaphane, which has such a strong anti-cancer action scientists believe it could form the basis of new treatments. Sorrel is a source of lutein and zeaxanthin which cut odds of macular degeneration.

MAY

At their best: Apricots, asparagus, gooseberries, lamb’s lettuce, lettuce, peas, radish, raspberries, rhubarb, sorrel, spinach, spring greens, strawberries, watercress.

Health benefits: Beta-carotene in apricots protects against memory loss and dementia. Studies show people who eat four or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables high in this also reduce their risk of heart disease and cancer.

Fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables

JUNE

At their best: Apricots, asparagus, aubergine, courgettes, fennel bulbs, globe artichoke, gooseberries, lamb’s lettuce, lettuce, peas, radish, raspberries, sorrel, spinach, spring greens, strawberries, tomatoes, watercress.

Health benefits: Raspberries and strawberries contain high levels of ellagic acid, shown to slow cancer and be particularly effective against liver cancer. Berries contain carotenoids and vitamins A, C and E, which reduce macular degeneration.

JULY

At their best: Apricots, asparagus, aubergine, beetroot, blackcurrants, blueberries, broad beans, cherries, courgettes, fennel bulbs, globe artichoke, gooseberries, lamb’s lettuce, lettuce, peaches, peas, radish, raspberries, redcurrants, samphire, sorrel, spinach, strawberries, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watercress.


Health benefits: Nitrates in beetroot lower blood pressure and could be an inexpensive treatment for hypertension. One-in-four adults suffer from high blood pressure, a major factor in coronary heart disease and strokes. Beetroot juice boosts energy and stamina.

AUGUST

At their best: Apricots, aubergine, beetroot, blackberries, broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cherries, courgettes, fennel bulbs, figs, globe artichoke, gooseberries, lamb’s lettuce, lettuce, peaches, peas, plums, radish, raspberries, redcurrants, samphire, sorrel, spinach, strawberries, sweetcorn, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watercress.

Health benefits: Anthocyanins in cherries reduce oxidative stress and may ease inflammation and pain in arthritis. Scientists found these chemicals prevent muscle pain and exercise risks.

SEPTEMBER

At their best: Apricots, aubergine, blackberries, beetroot, blueberries, broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, celeriac, celery, courgettes, damsons, fennel bulbs, figs, globe artichoke, gooseberries, kale, lamb’s lettuce, leeks, lettuce, parnsips, peaches, pears, peas, plums, radish, raspberries, redcurrants, sorrel, spinach, strawberries, sweetcorn, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watercress.

Health benefits: Apigenin in celery targets molecules which fuel inflammation and play a part in some cancers. Cancer Research UK is investigating whether a chemical in broccoli can prevent pre-cancerous changes in the cervix from developing into full cancer.

Vegetables

Vegetables

OCTOBER

At their best: Aubergine, beetroot, blackcurrants, Bramley apples, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celeriac, celery, cranberries, damsons, figs, globe artichoke, gooseberries, kale, lamb’s lettuce, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, peaches, pears, peas, plums, pumpkin, quince, radish, salsify, swede, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnip.

Health benefits: Pumpkins are a source of acid which lowers fats associated with heart disease. Studies suggest pumpkins also promote wound healing and reduce skin damage from the sun.

NOVEMBER

At their best: Beetroot, Bramley apples, Brussels sprouts, celeriac, celery, clementines, cranberries, cauliflower, damsons, dates, figs, globe artichoke, gooseberries, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, lamb’s lettuce, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, peaches, pears, peas, plums, pumpkin, quince, rhubarb, salsify, swede, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, turnip.

Health benefits: Kale and chard are high in nutrients. A serving of either delivers around three times the recommended daily intake of vitamin K to prevent osteoporosis.

Organic vegetables

Organic vegetables

DECEMBER

At their best: Beetroot, Bramley apples, Brussels sprouts, celeriac, celery, clementines, cranberries, damsons, dates, globe artichoke, gooseberries, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, peaches, pears, plums, pumpkin, quince, salsify, swede, sweet potatoes, turnip.

Health benefits: Dates contain vitamins for a healthy nervous system and lower cancer risk, plus acids which help blood sugar levels. Clementines are a source of immune-boosting vitamins and plums contain isatin, investigated as a treatment for Parkinson’s.