Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast
HomeHealthWellbeing

Home-Grown Superfoods

BY Fiona Hicks

22nd Mar 2018 Wellbeing

Home-Grown Superfoods
These days supermarket shelves are awash with chia seeds, goji berries, cacao nibs and many other exotic-sounding foods. They promise good health—yet travel thousands of miles to get to your table. It’s easy to forget that we can grow nutrient-dense foods in our own back garden! Here are some of the best:

Blackcurrants

These tiny berries are brimming with vitamin C. In fact, a 100g serving contains 300 per cent of your RDA, which is more than three times that of an orange. Vitamin C plays an important role in keeping your skin plump and your immune system firing—huge advantages that are worth the effort of looking after a blackcurrant bush. Once harvested, they can easily be stewed for a nice yogurt or porridge topping.
 

Broccoli

If you were only to eat one vegetable for the rest of your life, broccoli would be a good choice. As well as being rich in vitamin K, vitamin C and folate, it contains special compounds that help your liver to detoxify harmful substances (and, yes, that includes alcohol!). The best time to sow broccoli seeds is between March and June.
 

Horseradish

root.jpg
This pungent plant has a long association with health—records from the Middle Ages indicate both its root and leaves were used as a medicinal aid. The fresh root is as fiery as the ubiquitous horseradish condiments, but also sweeter. Grate and steep in a little hot water for a drink that’s bound to clear a blocked nose. It’s easy to grow, as it needs little attention and isn’t sensitive to cold.
 

Carrots

carrot.jpg
These are stalwarts of British roast dinners for good reason. The humble orange root vegetable is a rich source of beta-carotene, a compound that’s converted to vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A in turn contributes to normal vision—which is why your mother told you that carrots help you see in the dark! Sow in April and they’ll be ready three to four months later, and taste wonderful whether roasted or grated on a salad.
 

Tomatoes

tomatoez.jpg
Their deep red colour comes from a substance called lycopene, which has been associated with lowering cholesterol and supporting our cardiovascular systems. You don’t need a greenhouse either, as plants can be started off indoors by placing pots in a plastic bag and keeping them on the windowsill. Enjoy the fruits of your labour with some mozzarella, fresh basil and olive oil—delicious!
 

Best in season: Spring onions

Why eat it?
This vegetable, which is simply a white onion harvested early, is a good source of quercetin. This substance is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine, and helps your body fight seasonal allergies.
How to cook it?
Choose the thinnest spring onions you can find and chop finely. These can be sprinkled over several dishes before serving, or folded into creamy mash potato for a fresh but comforting side dish.  

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit ipso.co.uk