How to make this year’s Easter healthier

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Introduction

Easter Holiday is the time when some of us forget about healthy food. However, Easter does not have to be associated only with sweet cakes, eggs in mayonnaise, fried dishes, meats, or sausages. We can also introduce some plant-based products with high nutritional value that will enrich our menu with valuable ingredients.

Health properties

One of the plants that we almost immediately associate with Easter is watercress. Undoubtedly, it should not be treated only as a decoration of the Easter table. It is worth adding watercress to our dishes to increase their nutritional value. Sprouts, fresh vegetables, and herbs should also appear on the Easter table.

Watercress

Chanterelle pepper (Latin Lepidium sativum L.) called watercress is a plant native to south-west Asia and north-east Africa. It appeared in Europe in ancient times – its properties were known and appreciated by the ancient Greeks and Romans who used it to improve the beauty and as a tonic. Over time, it has also been discovered that the compounds in watercress can be helpful in the treatment of sciatica, liver disease, cardiovascular problems, and colds. It was also recommended for scurvy and anemia. We currently know that the valuable properties of watercress result from the presence of vitamins and minerals, such as:

  • vitamin C (has a beneficial effect on the immune system, protects the body against oxidative stress, is involved in the synthesis of collagen);
  • vitamin K (necessary for the proper course of the blood clotting process);
  • vitamin E (one of the strongest antioxidants);
  • zinc (it is a component of over 300 enzymes, as an antioxidant it protects the body against harmful oxidative stress);
  • magnesium (plays an important role in the proper functioning of the nervous system and muscles);

Besides, watercress is a source of selenium, potassium, calcium, iron, as well as B vitamins. People who try to lose weight can easily benefit from the health-promoting properties of watercress. This plant is classified as a low-calorie product – a handful (10g) provides only 3 kcal!

Chives

Chive is a plant that goes well with eggs (it can be, for example, an ingredient of egg spread), and that is why it can play an important part in the Easter menu. Not only the taste of chives deserves attention, but also its health-promoting properties. It is a plant of the garlic family, which grows in the wild mainly in Europe, North America and Asia. It also occurs as a cultivated plant – in Europe, the first chives were grown in the 16th century. Why should we put it on the Easter table? Chives provide ingredients such as:

  • vitamin C;
  • Vitamin E;
  • calcium (one of the basic building blocks of bones and teeth);
  • potassium (plays an important role in the functioning of the water-electrolyte and acid-base balance);

Like watercress, it is classified as a low-calorie plant, so it can also be easily included in a slimming diet. Tablespoon of chives (5g) provides only 2 kcal!

Radish

Radish is another plant that is worth paying attention to when composing the Easter menu. It belongs to the cruciferous vegetables, and its health-promoting properties have been used since ancient times in the treatment of stomach diseases, urinary tract infections, cardiovascular diseases, and inflammation of the liver. It is classified as a vegetable with a high water content (its amount is at the level of 95%). This does not mean, however, that its nutritional value is low. Radish is a source of antioxidants, i.e. compounds that protect us from harmful oxidative stress. In addition, it was shown that radish:

  • has anti-cancer properties (especially in the case of prostate, breast, lung, intestine, liver cancer);
  • has antibacterial and antifungal properties (inhibits the growth of both gram negative and gram positive bacteria);
  • has an anti-diabetic effect;

Due to its high water content, one radish (about 15 g) provides only 3 kcal.

Summary

Cress, chives or radishes are not the only plants that could find a place on our Easter tables. The more veggies or herbs appear in festive dishes, the healthier we will feel! Fresh vegetables, sprouts and herbs enrich Easter dishes with polyphenols, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. At the same time, they provide a small amount of kcal, which means that they can also be consumed by people on a slimming diet.

 

 


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