Veggies Are At The Frontline Of Health
The Gardener|March 2021
Eating healthily to keep healthy and maintain a good level of immunity is as much of a strategy in this time of Covid-19 as wearing masks, social distancing and sanitising.
Alice Spenser-Higgs

Vegetables provide a balance of vitamins and minerals that support the immune system and build our general level of health. The healthiest vegetables are those we grow ourselves without using poisonous sprays.

Fresh is always best, because the moment a vegetable is picked its nutritional value starts to diminish. Even if the homegrown excess is stored in the refrigerator, the veggies retain far more goodness than produce that is handled many times, and transported many kilometres, before reaching the supermarket shelf.

March is the main planting month for autumn and winter vegetables, which have very specific health benefits for this time of the year. You may have heard the saying, ‘nature gives us what we need when we need it’.

Based on what the family will eat, and the vitamins and minerals they need, here is a rundown of veggies that are good for us.

Cruciferous veggies are generally high in fibre, essential minerals and vitamins A, C, K and E, which strengthen the immune system. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the recommended consumption of cruciferous veggies is one cup of cooked vegetables a day, or two cups of raw vegetables.

To grow: Cruciferous vegetables do best in full winter sun, need fertile soil and regular fertilising and watering – they should not dry out. Take your pick from these:

• Brussels sprouts require preventative spraying for aphids, fertilising during their growth stage and topping when 1m high to develop the sprouts. Staking is necessary.

• Broccoli needs plentiful water to develop a good head. Once the main head is cut, it will produce side shoots that extend its harvestable life by a month or more.

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