If you're souring on winter, here's something to sweeten your mood: Carrots taste better in January.
In a new video from Fig. 1, a University of California web series that takes a closer look at new research surrounding science, technology, arts and humanities, UCLA's Liz Roth-Johnson explains why some vegetables, like carrots, have more sugar when the temperature drops.
"In order to defend itself against the cold, [carrots have] developed all these amazing physiological responses, including increasing the sugar content," she says. "Increasing the sugar content helps defend against ice crystal formation, which can do all kinds of terrible things to cells like dehydrate them, crush them, rupture them. Along with many other responses, this increase in sugar content helps defend the carrot against frost and cold.”
One large carrot only has about 3.4 grams of sugar to begin with, according to Livestrong.com, so munching on carrots until spring could be a great alternative to the many sugary foods out there (a cup of yogurt, for example, can have up to 34 grams).
If carrots aren't your thing, Boulder, Colorado's Red Wagon Organic Farm points to other vegetables that bring on what they call "cold sweetening" in the wintertime. Veggies like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts all increase their sugar content in the winter, too, so get munching!